Print Woman, boy and dog rescued after flash flood
Written by Greg Ruland   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 15:00

A powerful thunderstorm that moved across the Verde Valley on Wednesday, Sept. 14, knocked out electricity at one Cornville residence and caused a flash flood that swept a pickup truck and its three occupants down Spring Creek Wash, Verde Valley Fire District Fire Marshal Mike Flummer stated.

Verde Valley Fire District swift water rescue expert Dustin Chambliss, wearing the helmet, directs an unidentified 10-year-old boy to go with other responders moments after rescuing him from a pickup truck swept downstream by rushing water during a flash flood in Spring Creek Wash around 4 p.m. Sept. 14.An unidentified woman, a 10-year-old boy and a family dog were swept into the rushing water of the wash shortly before 4 p.m. when they apparently attempted to cross at Willow Point Road.

In response to a cell phone call for help, seven units, including engines and ambulances from VVFD and Sedona Fire District, drove quickly down slick, difficult-to-navigate roads on both sides of the wash to reach the scene.

Communication between dispatch and rescue units indicated rough road conditions impeded response times somewhat.

Upon arrival, rescue crews could not see the victims, but searched downstream until they spotted a white, extended cab pickup truck in the middle of the rapidly moving water, Flummer said.

The female victim was hanging onto a tree, and the child and dog remained in the truck.  Rescuers on the east side of the wash assisted the woman from the water, while crews from the west side rescued the child and dog from the truck. No injuries were reported and the victims all refused medical treatment.

Weather conditions prior and during the call included heavy rain and lightening with flash flood conditions throughout the Cornville area, Flummer said.

While the rescue unfolded, lightning struck a residence in the 5000 block of East Silverthorne Drive in Verde Santa Fe, blowing out a television and triggering three circuit breakers. Clarkdale Fire District responded to the call because all available VVFD units were involved in the rescue operation, he said.

No fire was discovered, but responders recommended the homeowner contact an electrician to inspect wiring.