Crews respond to multiple water rescues SaturdayPosted: Updated:
Rushing waters and flooded streams made for a busy day for swift water rescue teams around our state.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office was actively involved in at least five water rescues early Saturday morning, many happening simultaneously.
Heavy rains associated with Winter Storm Kori hit Maricopa County in mid-afternoon Friday and intensified throughout the evening. The northwest Valley had significant rainfall leading to flash flooding in and around washes.
Here are the details on five rescues all conducted before 8 a.m. on Saturday,
Table Mesa Road
At around 12:45 a.m Saturday, District 4 deputies responded the area of Table Mesa Road, approximately 3 miles east of I-17 in New River, for a report of two people stranded on top of a vehicle that was submerged in a wash. Upon arrival, deputies found that one of the victims had somehow managed to safely get to land. The female subject, however, was standing on top of her vehicle, which was almost fully submerged in a rapidly flowing wash, as it remained trapped against some rocks. Multiple fire departments responded with Swift Water and Technical Rescue Teams. While fire departments were coming up with a ground plan, MCSO’s helicopter arrived and decided to attempt a rescue. After dropping a life jacket to the stranded person, the helicopter was able to rescue the woman. She was returned to land where she was evaluated by Daisy Mountain FD and released at the scene.
MCSO received a 911 call that stated another vehicle tried to cross the river in the Sycamore Creek Area and became stuck. The water had reached the bottom of the vehicle's door, causing it to float. The subjects were on the roof of the vehicle. MCSO Lake Patrol responded to the area. While en route, 911 received a second call stating the subjects were out of the water and were okay.
New River Wash
A truck with one passenger inside got stuck in the New River Wash, and water was lapping over the hood. As a rescue helicopter landed across the river to get ready for the rescue effort, the truck started to move downstream due to the water rising. Rescuers were able to bring the chopper close enough to the driver’s door to hand him a "personal flotation device" through the open window. Crews then instructed the driver to crawl on the roof for the extraction. Once he was on the roof, the helicopter was able to hover over the truck and pull the driver to safety.
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Tonto National Forest Area
MCSO received a 911 call about two elderly subjects stuck in the wash in the Bartlett Lake/Tonto National Forest area. The vehicle was floating in the water. Bartlett Lake deputies responded to the area along with Rural Metro and Phoenix Fire Swift Water Rescue. Both subjects were rescued and needed no additional medical attention.
MCSO Received a 911 call about a Jeep that had become stuck in the Seven Springs area. Helicopters were unable to get to the scene due to weather and low cloud cover. Mountain Rescue crews were able to retrieve the subjects and safely remove them from the river. All 3 subjects refused transport.
MCSO wants to remind the public that the ground is saturated and flash flooding is active throughout Maricopa County. Remember, don't ever drive into a flooded wash.
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