Vigil held for Payson flash flood victims

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On Saturday night, Payson community members held a candlelight vigil in the memory of a family that died in a flash flood near Payson. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) On Saturday night, Payson community members held a candlelight vigil in the memory of a family that died in a flash flood near Payson. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
After the tragedy, the John Carpino Band and a local business owner thought turning it into a vigil would be a good idea for the town to come together to heal. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) After the tragedy, the John Carpino Band and a local business owner thought turning it into a vigil would be a good idea for the town to come together to heal. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: Iris Garnica) (Source: Iris Garnica)
Hector Miguel Garnica seen with Iris Garnica. (Source: Iris Garnica) Hector Miguel Garnica seen with Iris Garnica. (Source: Iris Garnica)
Hector Miguel Garnica with his wife Maria Raya-Garcia and their three kids Hector Daniel, 7, Mia, 5, and Emily, 3. (Source: Iris Garnica) Hector Miguel Garnica with his wife Maria Raya-Garcia and their three kids Hector Daniel, 7, Mia, 5, and Emily, 3. (Source: Iris Garnica)
PAYSON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

It’s been one week since a flash flood ripped through the Cold Springs swimming hole near Payson. Fourteen extended family members celebrating a birthday were swept away. Ten perished.

On Saturday night, Payson community members are holding a candlelight vigil in their memory.

[RELATED: Remains found confirmed to be father missing after flash flood near Payson]

A public concert had already been scheduled for Saturday night at Green Valley Park in Payson. After the tragedy, the John Carpino Band and a local business owner thought turning it into a vigil would be a good idea for the town to come together to heal.

All week, Payson residents watched search and rescue teams drive through their streets and helicopters fly overhead, so they know all too well the tragedy that happened in their town.

[RELATED: 9 killed, 1 missing after flash flood tears through swimming hole near Payson]

Even though many likely never met the victims, they feel the loss too.

Tonight, the entire community is invited to gather together for the first time since the flood.

[RELATED: Search intensifies for man swept away in violent flash flood]

“Neighbors celebrating neighbors and just reaching out in prayer and letting the family know, and the victims, and the first responders. I can't imagine what they're going through having to be there. Pretty traumatic stuff for them to go through, so let them know we all care,” said John Carpino.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. Closer to 8 p.m., the band plans to play a special song for the victims. Then a local pastor will say a prayer and read aloud all the victims' names. Attendees are asked to bring their own candle.

[SLIDESHOW: Deadly flash flood at swimming hole near Payson]

No word on if any of the victims' family members plan to attend. 

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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