Flood warning at Tonto River Basin lifted, man rescued by helicopter after driving around barricades

Deputies issued the driver a citation
The flood warning for Tonto River Basin area has been lifted on Wednesday morning.
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 10:40 AM MST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2023 at 9:42 AM MST
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GILA COUNTY, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5) — A flood warning at Tonto River Basin was lifted Wednesday morning. Earlier this week, a man had to be rescued by helicopter after driving around barricades during heavy flooding Monday afternoon.

According to the Gila County Sheriff’s Office, the barricades were set up near Tonto Creek, an approximately 30-mile stream that flows north of Tonto National Forest. The driver of the full-size pickup truck called for help after being caught in the floodwaters.

Gila County sheriff’s deputies responded, along with the Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter, which flew the man to safety. When they landed, the man was issued a citation by deputies for driving around the barricades.

A truck was stranded in floodwaters near Tonto Creek Monday afternoon. Video courtesy of Randy Roberson.

No injuries were reported. Officials are saying he may be financially responsible for his own rescue since he drove around barriers diverting traffic from the heavy flooding.