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7 dead, 3 missing after flash flooding in Arizona: authorities

PAYSON, Ariz. — At least seven people are dead and three others are missing after a flash flood hit an Arizona swimming hole on Saturday afternoon, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV in Phoenix reports.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a search and rescue call at about 3 p.m. after heavy rains caused flash flooding near the Cold Springs swimming hole north of Payson.

Authorities said 14 people were swimming in the area and were swept away in the flash flood. Multiple agencies responded to aid the department’s search and rescue efforts.

Seven people were found dead and four others were rescued, Gila County Sheriff’s Office said. Search crews are still looking for the three people who went missing.

The sheriff’s office said on Facebook that First Crossing and Second Crossing on Houston Mesa Road as well as Waterwheel are closed.

The storm also caused damage to buildings and knocked over power lines, resulting in power outages across the state, KPHO-TV reports.

More than 3,200 Arizona Public Service customers were without power Saturday evening. Nearly 2,500 customers in Sun City and 800 customers in Peoria were also without power. Power was restored later on Saturday.

The storm also caused trees to topple over. Strong winds picked up and threw several trampolines from their yards.

One home in Peoria was reduced to a pile of sticks.

“We saw a lot of knocked over port-o-potties,” said Brooke Ratti, who was looking at the damage with her family. “This is definitely the craziest, snapped power lines, it was a pretty crazy storm.”

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Source: CBS News – United States

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