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17 Hikers Rescued After Flash Flood in Arizona Canyon

  • VOA News

In this July 23, 2017, image taken from video provided by the Pima County Sheriff's office, a stranded hiker is airlifted to safety near Tucson, Arizona.

Emergency crews in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona have rescued 17 hikers who had been trapped in a scenic canyon after flash floods.

A police helicopter rescued the final two hikers on Monday morning after they spent the night in the canyon at Tenque Verde Falls, outside Tucson. The other 15 people, including a 4-year-old boy, were either airlifted out of the canyon or walked out with the aid of rescue teams on Sunday.

Officials say there is no indication that any of the hikers were seriously hurt in the incident.

They say rescuers dropped food, water and blankets to the last two hikers who spent the night on a cliff surrounded by water.

Officials say they canyon normally has only a trickle of water, but flash floods raised the water level to up to 244 centimeters.

Police officials say that hikers often decide to go out just after it rains because the air temperature is cooler, not realizing that they are walking into areas that are at risk of flash flooding.

FILE - A helicopter flies above the rugged terrain along the banks of the East Verde River during a search and rescue operation for victims of a flash flood in Payson, Arizona, July 16, 2017.
FILE - A helicopter flies above the rugged terrain along the banks of the East Verde River during a search and rescue operation for victims of a flash flood in Payson, Arizona, July 16, 2017.

Earlier this month, 10 members of a family were killed, including several children, when they were at a popular swimming hole in Arizona. A flash flood caused a wall of water to descend into the canyon without warning, sweeping the family away on the Verde River inside Tonto National Forest.

Local authorities say up to 4 centimeters of rain from an intense thunderstorm had fallen during one hour in a remote area about 14 kilometers upstream causing the surge of water downstream. They say the swimmers had no warning before the wall of water hit them.

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