At least nine dead in Arizona flash flood this weekend

July 17, 2017 - 8:15 am

(PAYSON, Ariz.) -- A search-and-rescue operation will resume Monday morning after nine people from a single family, including several children, died and others went missing in a flash flood incident along the Verde River in Arizona on Saturday, according to the Gila County Sheriff’s office.

A large group of people were at the river swimming in the area of the Cold Springs swimming hole in the town of Payson, Arizona on Saturday afternoon when the flash flood came from above them, police said.

One person is still missing, according to the Gila County Sheriff's department.

At least four people were rescued and airlifted to a hospital, police said.

Five bodies were reportedly recovered Sunday, after four were recovered Saturday. The deceased range in age from 2 to 60, and were all members of the same family.

The incident followed a weather forecast by ABC News' meteorologists predicting "monsoonal related thunderstorms" throughout the weekend in the Southwest.

Payson "experienced heavy rain" prior to the incident, and search and rescue operations were initiated to find individuals who were reported missing, the sheriff's office said. Search operations remain underway for other people who went missing during the flood, the sheriff's office said.

Arizona is not out of the woods by any means when it comes to extreme weather conditions. A flash flood watch will be in effect for the Southeast part of the state until Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Flash flood warnings are in effect for parts of Arizona Monday morning, including Nogales, Rio Rico and Patagonia, according to the NWS.

Thunderstorms will be possible across portions of Arizona once again later Monday night and also across other parts of the Southwest, according to ABC News' meteorologists.

The expected thunderstorm activity will likely remain isolated to scattered in nature, but the storms that do form will bring strong, gusty winds and torrential rain with them, which could trigger even more flash flooding in the region.

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