On July 15, 2017, at approximately 3:19 p.m., the Gila County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call regarding a search and rescue operation around the Cold Springs Swimming Hole after the Payson Area experienced heavy rain throughout the region causing flash flooding in that area.
Water levels reportedly up to 6 feet high and 40 feet wide, swept away 14 members of the family, carrying them fast and far downstream. Nine individuals have been confirmed deceased, including six children ages 2 to 13, police said.
Search operations were suspended during the overnight hours Sunday, and by Monday morning, search operations resumed for a 27 year old male who is the only other reported missing as a result of the flooding. The disaster happened near the Cold Springs swimming hole, just north of Payson, in Gila County, and about 90 miles north of Phoenix.
This is an active investigation and more information may be released as it becomes available.