Monday, July 17, 2017
TONTO NATIONAL FOREST, Ariz. -- Adults, teens and children as young as 2 were enjoying a summer afternoon by cooling off in an Arizona creek when.
The group from the Phoenix and Flagstaff areas had met Saturday for a day trip along a popular swimming hole near Payson, about 100 miles northeast of the capital. They set up lounge chairs not knowing an intense thunderstorm was dumping heavy rainfall just upstream in the Tonto National Forest.
The storm unleashed 6-foot-high floodwaters, dark with ash from a summer wildfire, onto the unsuspecting family and friends. The torrent carried away tree branches and other debris and left a wake of nine bodies.