Tragedy in Arizona
This post was going to be about my birthday, which is today. Instead, I am sad. I grieve for the lives that were lost in the flash flood up by Payson this past weekend. Lives gone. An extended family devastated. Adults and children.
If you live in the Phoenix or Mesa area, I am sure you have been warned about driving into the washes when there is a monsoon rain. It is the same in the high country for creeks and canyons. The water comes down so fast and heavily, it doesn’t have time to sink into the ground. It turns into runoff. This past weekend, the runoff or flash flood turned deadly.
Water Wheel is a local Payson place for people to get in the river and a swimming hole. The monsoons were higher on the Mogollon Rim where the Highline Fire was just weeks ago. The burn area did not have trees or bushes to stop the rain. Basically the burn area acted like a heavy rain rushing across a parking lot and ending up in a drainage ditch. The water runs more quickly, has debris in it and rises quickly. A strong adult would be knocked aside by the wall of water. They were.
The flash flood came out of nowhere for this family. There is basically no phone service in the area to broadcast alerts. The heavy rainfall was farther north, not on the people enjoying the day at Water Wheel. Nature can be cruel and dangerous. If it is not the heat, it is the cold or a wall of water. I cannot begin to imagine what the survivors and other family members of this tragedy are going through. It is hard enough when one family member dies. They lost ten. Four family members were rescued.
The rains have been more numerous and the amount of water is greater this year in the Rim Country area. It seems like every day I am getting alerts for Gila County for thunderstorms and flash floods.
Every location on earth has its natural disasters. In Phoenix and the Valley, the big ones are heat, dust storms and flash floods. Any person can only try to be aware and prepare the best they can.
Update: The Water Wheel area is closed for 40 days. I am assuming this is to do cleanup of the debris and possibly to protect us against flooding.