Arizona flash flood killed large family celebrating birthday


Arizona flash flood killed large family celebrating birthday
  1. Arizona flash flood killed large family celebrating birthday
    lethbridgeherald.com
    TONTO NATIONAL FOREST, Ariz. – The flash flood that killed nine people in an Arizona river canyon began its deadly descent as an impressive but avoidable surge of churning water, black with cinders from a recent wildfire and choked with tumbling tree trunks and limbs. By the time it reached a rocky swimming hole several The post Arizona flash flood killed large family celebrating birthday appeared first on The Lethbridge Herald - News and Sports from around…
    World
The Water Wheel Campground parking lot is blocked off by authorities Sunday, July 16, 2017, in the Tonto National Forest, Ariz., after a deadly flash-flooding hit Saturday afternoon at Cold Springs canyon. The flooding came after a severe thunderstorm pounded down on a nearby remote area that had been burned by a recent wildfire, Water Wheel Fire and Medical District Fire Chief Ron Sattelmaier said. (Alexis Bechman/Payson Roundup via AP)

TONTO NATIONAL FOREST, Ariz. – The flash flood that killed nine people in an Arizona river canyon began its deadly descent as an impressive but avoidable surge of churning water, black with cinders from a recent wildfire and choked with tumbling tree trunks and limbs.

By the time it reached a rocky swimming hole several miles downstream, it was a roaring torrent 6 feet (1.8 metres) high, and an extended family celebrating a birthday while seeking refuge from the summer heat had no warning – and no chance to escape.

The bodies were found up to 2 miles (3 kilometres) away. Five other people were rescued, some of them clinging desperately to trees, and were treated for hypothermia and released.

As rescuers searched Monday for a 27-year-old man still missing about 100 miles (160 kilometres) northeast of Phoenix, authorities identified the victims, who ranged in age from 2 to 60.

Among them were three generations of a family. Five of the dead were children.

The victims had been lounging Saturday in the swimming hole, where rocks create pools and a series of small waterfalls. There the river narrows, squeezing the flow of water and increasing its deadly force.

The river roared to life after a thunderstorm had dumped up to 1.5 inches (3.8 centimetres) of rain in an hour, prompting a flash flood warning from the National Weather Service.

Though the service sent out a flash flood warning over cellphone networks, service in the remote area is patchy at best. Unless they had a weather radio, the swimmers would have been unaware.

“They had no warning. They heard a roar, and it was on top of them,” said Fire Chief Ron Sattelmaier of the Water Wheel Fire and Medical District.

Carrie Templin, a spokesman for the Tonto National Forest, said people headed to the forest should check weather alerts ahead of time to determine whether it’s safe. It is hard to predict where rain will fall in the desert Southwest, and people should know that heavy downpours can cause flash flooding, Templin said.

One hiker who was stranded by the flood said she can’t get the sound of the rushing water out of her head.

Nancy Coto, 17, said she was stuck for four hours on a slab of rock with her boyfriend and his family.

“We’re all just saying that we got blessed, but I don’t like to use that word because other families weren’t blessed,” Coto said. “Children died.”

About 40 volunteer workers and four search dogs looked for the missing man, whom authorities identified as Hector Garnica.

Garnica had come to celebrate his wife’s birthday with their three children and other family. All were among those killed.

Authorities and a family member identified the dead as 2-year-old Erica Raya-Garcia; Emily Garnica, 3; Mia Garnica, 5; Danial Garnica, 7; and Jonathan Leon, 13. Also killed were Javier Raya-Garcia, 19; Celia Garcia Castaneda, 60; Maribel Raya-Garcia, 24; and 26-year-old Maria Raya-Garcia, Hector Garnica’s wife.

The group went up the mountain early Saturday, said Tom Price, the general manager at The Horny Toad, a restaurant where Hector Garnica worked.

Garnica’s parents were eating at the restaurant in a Phoenix suburb Saturday night when they got a call with the horrible news, Price said.

“Very tight knit,” he said of the family. “They’re just extremely close.”

About 5 miles up the mountain from where the family was relaxing Saturday, Scott Muller spotted the water rumbling down the nearly dry East Verde River.

Muller was spending the day with a dozen other members of AZ Krawlers, a volunteer group of Jeep owners that was checking dirt roads and trails for dangerous erosion and missing…

  1. Wildfires force 10,000 from tourist-packed French Riviera

    Cbc.ca - World
    07.26 / 08:32 www.cbc.ca
    Firefighters evacuated thousands of campers and local residents after a wildfire broke out on France's tourist-thronged Riviera coast…
  2. Top EU court says it was wrong to end Hamas terror listing

    Lethbridgeherald.com - World
    07.26 / 08:31 lethbridgeherald.com
    BRUSSELS – The European Union’s top court says a lower court should not have removed the Islamic militant group Hamas from the EU’s terror list and has sent the case back to the lower court for reconsideration. The EU originally listed Hamas as a terror group in 2001, a move that froze assets of the The post Top EU court says it was wrong to end Hamas terror listing appeared first on The Lethbridge Herald - News and Sports from around…
  3. Parents, former Scouts alarmed by Trump’s speech at jamboree

    Lethbridgeherald.com - World
    07.26 / 08:31 lethbridgeherald.com
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. – President Donald Trump’s fiery speech at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia has infuriated parents and former Scouts. Standing before thousands of school-aged Scouts on Monday night, he began with a bit of profanity and then went on to rage for more than half an hour against the media and other The post Parents, former Scouts alarmed by Trump’s speech at jamboree appeared first on The Lethbridge Herald - News and Sports from around…
  4. At least 5 dead in building collapse in Nigeria’s Lagos

    Lethbridgeherald.com - World
    07.26 / 07:49 lethbridgeherald.com
    LAGOS, Nigeria – Emergency officials in Nigeria’s largest city say at least five people are dead after a residential building collapsed in Lagos. Authorities say at least 15 people have been rescued from the rubble of the four-story building that collapsed Tuesday afternoon. Officials have not said what caused the collapse. Rescue efforts continued overnight The post At least 5 dead in building collapse in Nigeria’s Lagos appeared first on The Lethbridge Herald - News…
  5. Human rights groups decry Philippine president's threat to bomb schools

    Cbc.ca - World
    07.26 / 06:21 www.cbc.ca
    Human rights groups asked the Philippine president Wednesday to retract a threat to order airstrikes against tribal schools he accused of teaching students to become communist…
  6. UK’s Boris Johnson tours Sydney Opera House before meetings

    Lethbridgeherald.com - World
    07.26 / 05:10 lethbridgeherald.com
    SYDNEY, Australia – British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has toured the Sydney Opera House ahead of high-level bilateral security talks with Australian officials. The former London mayor joined New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian in being shown ongoing upgrades to the opera house’s Joan Sutherland Theatre that are being undertaken by British company Laing The post UK’s Boris Johnson tours Sydney Opera House before meetings appeared first on The Lethbridge…
  7. Trump cranks up the heat

    Castanet.net - World
    07.26 / 04:55 www.castanet.net
    President Donald Trump cranked up the heat Tuesday on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, scorning him as "very weak" and refusing to say whether he'll fire the nation's top law enforcement officer and his onetime political ally. It was an extraordinary public rebuke, and even fellow…
  8. 'CTE is real': New study finds brain disease in almost all football players tested

    Cbc.ca - World
    07.26 / 04:25 www.cbc.ca
    Research on 202 former football players found evidence of brain disease in nearly all of them, from athletes in the CFL, NFL, college and even high…
  9. Thousands pray at holy site

    Castanet.net - World
    07.26 / 04:08 www.castanet.net
    Thousands of Palestinian Muslims prayed in the streets near Jerusalem's most contested holy site Tuesday, heeding a call by clergy to not enter the shrine despite Israel's seeming capitulation when it removed metal detectors it installed there a week earlier. Muslim leaders said they would only…
  10. Alaska man says orca whale attacked his boat during fishing trip

    Globalnews.ca - World
    07.26 / 04:02 globalnews.ca
    An Alaska man says his boat was attacked by an orca during a fishing excursion with his 14-year-old son and two other…
  11. Orca attacks boat

    Castanet.net - World
    07.26 / 02:55 www.castanet.net
    An Alaska man said his boat was attacked over the weekend by an orca during a salmon fishing excursion with his 14-year-old son and two other people. Victor Littlefield of Sitka said the killer whale repeatedly rammed the boat, yanked its anchor line and slapped the boat's bow with its…
  12. Snakes in a chip cannister

    Castanet.net - World
    07.26 / 02:55 www.castanet.net
    A man was arrested on federal smuggling charges Tuesday after customs officers intercepted a shipment with three live king cobras hidden inside potato chip canisters that were being mailed to his California home, U.S. prosecutors said. Rodrigo Franco, 34, was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday…
  13. Orca whale repeatedly rams fishing boat, Alaska man says

    Lethbridgeherald.com - World
    07.26 / 02:47 lethbridgeherald.com
    SITKA, Alaska – An Alaska man said his boat was attacked over the weekend by an orca during a salmon fishing excursion with his 14-year-old son and two other people. Victor Littlefield of Sitka said the killer whale repeatedly rammed the boat, yanked its anchor line and slapped the boat’s bow with its tail. The The post Orca whale repeatedly rams fishing boat, Alaska man says appeared first on The Lethbridge Herald - News and Sports from around…
  14. Australia's highest-ranking Catholic in court to face sex charges

    Cbc.ca - World
    07.26 / 02:25 www.cbc.ca
    The most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis made his first court appearance in Australia in a scandal that has stunned the Holy…
  15. Man accused of smuggling king cobras in potato chip cans

    Lethbridgeherald.com - World
    07.26 / 02:23 lethbridgeherald.com
    LOS ANGELES – A man was arrested on federal smuggling charges Tuesday after customs officers intercepted a shipment with three live king cobras hidden inside potato chip canisters that were being mailed to his California home, U.S. prosecutors said. Rodrigo Franco, 34, was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles on a charge The post Man accused of smuggling king cobras in potato chip cans appeared first on The Lethbridge Herald - News and Sports from around…
  16. Alaska man says boat attacked by orca whale

    Lethbridgeherald.com - World
    07.26 / 02:23 lethbridgeherald.com
    SITKA, Alaska – An Alaska man says his boat was attacked by an orca during a fishing excursion with his 14-year-old son and two other people. Victor Littlefield of Sitka says the killer whale repeatedly rammed the boat, yanked the anchor line and slapped the bow with its tail. He said the 33-foot aluminum boat The post Alaska man says boat attacked by orca whale appeared first on The Lethbridge Herald - News and Sports from around…
  17. Texas Senate again OKs ‘bathroom bill’ over police criticism

    Lethbridgeherald.com - World
    07.26 / 02:23 lethbridgeherald.com
    AUSTIN, Texas – A Texas version of a North Carolina-style “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people again passed the state Senate on Tuesday over opposition from police and major corporations, but still faces an uncertain path to becoming law. It is the second time this year Texas has lurched toward putting restrictions on which bathrooms transgender The post Texas Senate again OKs ‘bathroom bill’ over police criticism appeared first on The Lethbridge…
  18. EU-Turkey talks fail to ease friction over detentions

    Lethbridgeherald.com - World
    07.26 / 02:23 lethbridgeherald.com
    BRUSSELS – High-level talks that European Union officials had with Turkey’s foreign minister Tuesday did not appear to ease tensions between the 28-nation bloc and Ankara over a wave of detentions of human rights defenders, journalists and others. After the meeting in Brussels, European enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn expressed “very strong concern” about the detentions, The post EU-Turkey talks fail to ease friction over detentions appeared first on The…
  19. Correction: Train-SUV Collision story

    Lethbridgeherald.com - World
    07.26 / 02:23 lethbridgeherald.com
    NEW YORK – In a story July 24 about a federal investigation into a crash between a train and an SUV outside New York City, The Associated Press, relying on information from a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity, mischaracterized the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board regarding the accident. The NTSB concluded The post Correction: Train-SUV Collision story appeared first on The Lethbridge Herald - News and Sports from around…
  20. U.S. company offers microchip implants to open doors, login or pay for food

    Globalnews.ca - World
    07.26 / 01:37 globalnews.ca
    While the technology has raised privacy concerns because of the potential to track a person's whereabouts and purchases, officials at 32M said the data in the microchip is encrypted and does not use…