How many have died in Arizona flash floods? More than you’d think – Arizona News

How many have died in Arizona flash floods? More than you’d think – Arizona News

The Republic |

Published 9:25 p.m. MT July 16, 2017 | Updated 12:00 a.m. MT July 17, 2017


Officials search for drowning victims following a flash flood at a popular swimming hole north of Payson that at least killed nine people from a Phoenix family.
David Kadlubowski/The Republic

A flash flood claimed the lives of nine family members near Payson on Saturday, a reminder that Arizona weather can turn deadly without warning. 

Flash floods have claimed the lives of dozens of Arizonans over the last four decades.

Sept. 7, 1970: Labor Day flash floods in the high country killed 23 people along Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek and other waterways below the Mogollon Rim. Officials at the time said campers did not get word of the rising water. Many were swept away as they attempted to outrun the water in their vehicles. 


The storm that struck on Labor Day 1970 dropped 11 and a half inches of rain in a 24-hour period, leading to flooding that killed 23 people.

Aug. 6, 1997: Six undocumented immigrants crossing the border from Mexico in Douglas drowned in a flooded drainage ditch. 

Aug. 12, 1997: 11 hikers were killed in one of the deadliest flash floods in Arizona history when a 40-foot wall of water swept through the Lower Antelope Canyon near Page. Eight of the dead were tourists from France. 

Sept. 11, 1997: Two hikers were killed at Grand Canyon National Park in a flash flood through Phantom Creek….

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