ST. GEORGE — Flash floods can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain, and are the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters in the U.S., and also the most dangerous, a claim supported by the three rescues reported in Mohave County, Arizona, in the wake of heavy rains Thursday.
The first rescue took place Thursday afternoon after a 75-year old driver lost control of his full-sized pickup truck while attempting to drive through rushing water on Lookout Canyon Road, just east of Kingman, Arizona, according to the statement released by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.
A concerned citizen called 911 to report the incident and Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue was dispatched to the area. They were able to locate the driver who was then removed from the water and returned to safety where neighbors assisted the man until the water receded.
Rescuers were later dispatched to Highway 66 at mile marker 41 in Golden Valley, which is near the Sacramento Wash where seven individuals were reportedly stranded.
The incident involved multiple vehicles that were stopped between two running washes, leaving the occupants trapped by rising waters. Rescue teams arrived and crossed over the rushing water to where the occupants were waiting, and as waters receded were able to escort the group back over the wash to safety.
Early Friday morning, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue was dispatched to call involving a couple stranded off of Silver Creek Road.
The 27-year-old driver was out four-wheeling with his girlfriend and four dogs when the vehicle broke down, and they began hiking out of the remote area in search of help, only to return to the vehicle a short time later.
Search teams scouring the area located the couple who were then taken to the command post where they had another vehicle waiting.
The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue says to use extreme caution when confronted with running water. Arizona’s Emergency Incident Network provides safety tips and other information that can be found by clicking here.
Driving: Flood Facts
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pickups.
- Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water and you could be stranded or trapped.
- Do not drive around a barricade or try to take short cuts. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
- Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.