Seven people were confirmed dead Monday night and several others are still missing after a strong monsoon thunderstorm swept through the Arizona Strip area of Mohave County around 3 p.m. Emergency management coordinators monitoring the situation believe the deceased were originally in two cars that were washed away in an area near Short Creek, which runs through the northern neighborhoods of Colorado City.
Data collected for the Mohave County Flood Control District shows that enough rain fell in the Colorado City/Hildale area during Monday’s storm to push enough water through the normally dry Short Creek to rise from just under one foot, to more than six feet in less than 20 minutes before receding.
The stream flow gauge that is located near where the creek crosses Central Street in Colorado City reported a flow level of 0.98 feet 26 seconds after 3:47 p.m.
Only 17 minutes later, that same gauge registered a peak water level of 6.34 feet, which was the most water that has flowed through Short Creek all year.
Colorado City Fire Department rescue crews pulled three people to safety, but as many as six others are thought to still be missing. Large amounts of debris that were washed down with the water has hindered the rescue efforts.
The identity of those killed in Monday’s flood will be released once authorities have notified their next of kin..
Rescue crews suspended their search for the other missing residents last Monday night and were planning to return in the morning.