Rescuers work to save 17 hikers stranded in Arizona

Posted at 9:12 AM, Jul 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-24 09:12:12-04

Emergency services are working to rescue 17 hikers from raging waters caused by flash flooding in Arizona.

A sheriff’s department helicopter has already airlifted eight people — including a 4-year-old boy — out of the Tanque Verde Falls area of Redington Pass, Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Gress said.

Search and Rescue and the South Arizona Rescue Association are planning to hike in to nine more people who are stranded, though one of them may need to be airlifted due to his location Gress said.

The Rural Metro Fire Department is also helping with the rescue effort.

Gress said the incident served as a reminder of the danger of flash flooding “especially in areas like Redington Pass and Sabino Canyon.”

“It takes time for the water to flow from the mountain down to the valley, and when it does it can be swift and deadly. All too often, hikers decide to hike just after it rains because the air temperature is cooler, not realizing they are walking into areas which are at an increased risk for flash flooding,” he said.

Flash flooding caused the deaths of nine members of a family in a popular swimming area north of Phoenix earlier this month. That disaster happened near the Cold Springs swimming hole, just north of Payson, in Gila County, Arizona.

Pennsylvania and Maryland also hit by storms

Meantime Monday, flooding hit Pennsylvania, where there were ongoing water rescues in parts of Bradford County, the county sheriff’s office told CNN. Officials said most of the flooding was taking place in the Windham area, where flood waters were entering homes. A flash flood emergency was in effect at 3:15 a.m ET for the Windham area. The National Weather Service later issued a flood warning for Northeastern Bradford County.

The National Weather Service also extended until 9 a.m. ET flash flood warnings in Northern New Castle County in northern Delaware, Southeastern Chester County in southeastern Pennsylvania and Southwestern Delaware County in southeastern Pennsylvania.

In Maryland, the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office said a tornado was believed to have hit the Bayside community early Monday morning, with calls coming in around 1:30 a.m. ET.

The sheriff’s office said the weather event had caused multiple structures to collapse, gas leaks and that trees and power lines had been downed. The National Weather Service will need to conduct a survey to confirm that the damage was from a tornado.