BREAKING: At Least 9 DEAD, Multiple MISSING In ARIZONA- Death Toll Expected To Rise


Nine people are dead, including at least two children, and one other person was missing on Sunday after a flash flood swept through an Arizona swimming hole. 

Gila County Sheriff’s Office said officers received a 911 call around 3:20 p.m. Saturday about a search-and-rescue at Cold Springs swimming hole near Payson. A storm caused the flash flood, sweeping 14 people down East Verde River.


Office of
Sheriff of Gila County
J. Adam Shepherd

Press Release-Updated
July 16, 2017

Sheriff J. Adam Shepherd would like to release the following updated information regarding a Search and Rescue operation off Forest Service Road 420 at the Cold Springs Swimming Hole North of Payson, Arizona.

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. The Payson Area experienced heavy rain throughout the region causing flash flooding in that area. Individuals were reported missing and search and rescue operations have begun. Deputies, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, the Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger Helicopter, Whispering Pines Fire Department and the US Forest Service have been dispatched and are actively working the scene.

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Nine individuals have been confirmed deceased and search operations continue for remaining missing individuals. At this time the First Crossing and Second Crossing on Houston Mesa Road as well as Waterwheel are closed.


This is an active investigation and more information may be released as it becomes available.

Sheriff Shepherd would like to thank Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, Payson Posse, CERT, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Payson Fire Department, Whispering Pines Fire Department and the US Forest Service for their coordinating response.

So tragic.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved.

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