iStock/Thinkstock(PAYSON, Ariz.) — A search-and-rescue operation was underway Sunday after nine people, including at least two children, died and several others went missing in a flash flood along the Verde River in Arizona Saturday, according to the Gila County Sheriff’s office.
A large group was at the river swimming Saturday afternoon when the flash flood came from above them, police said.
Two people remain missing as of Monday. At least four people were rescued and airlifted to a hospital, police said.
Five bodies were reportedly recovered Monday, after four were recovered Saturday.
The incident followed a weather forecast by ABC News’ meteorologists predicting “monsoonal related thunderstorms” throughout the weekend in the Southwest.
Emergency workers received a 911 call regarding a Search and Rescue Operation around the Cold Springs Swimming Hole, located in the town of Payson, Arizona, county sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Payson “experienced heavy rain,” 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 from Sunday afternoon through Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
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