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The Latest: Flooding closes recreation sites near Sedona

February 16, 2019

The Latest on Arizona weather (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

A handful of popular recreation areas around Sedona are closed to the public because of heavy flooding.

Coconino National Forest spokesman Brady Smith says water moved rapidly through campgrounds and day-use sites Thursday, knocking over barbecue grills and burying picnic tables.

He says the recreation sites will remain closed until crews can clear debris and repair the damage.

The Sedona Fire District says Oak Creek rose by more than 12 feet late Thursday night.

And the National Weather Service says more wet weather is on the way.

A fast-moving storm is expected to drop light snow in northern Arizona through Saturday morning. A more powerful storm is on its heels.

The weather service says Flagstaff and Payson could see around a foot of snow. Sedona could see up to six inches.

12 p.m.

Residents in the Verde Valley are cleaning up after heavy rain scattered tree branches, gravel and patio furniture through their community.

Some roads remained closed and the debris lingered Friday morning in Rimrock and Camp Verde.

Ken Miller is the senior pastor at the Beaver Creek Baptist Church that served as a shelter. One family stayed overnight.

Miller says he drove the family home Friday, and the floors were covered with a thin layer of mud.

Fire officials wrapped up swift-water evacuations before dawn Friday. Copper Canyon Fire Chief Terry Keller says local crews helped walk people out through the water or guide them onto a raft on a road that looked more like a river.

Keller says rain has subsided but officials are keeping an eye on the Verde River.

10:45 a.m.

Authorities in northern Arizona are helping residents as needed in the wake of heavy overnight flooding caused by rain.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office says some roads remain closed and some debris lingered Friday morning in Rimrock and Camp Verde.

Sheriff’s spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn says several homes along Beaver Creek in Rimrock, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Flagstaff, received as much as several feet of water Thursday night.

Deputies and firefighters assisted with several evacuations of children, elderly and dogs to safety. D’Evelyn says four people and two dogs had to be rescued when a van became stuck in water.

An evacuation order has been called off but creek waters have yet to crest.

D’Evelyn says no injuries have been reported.


10:05 a.m.

Tucson-area firefighters on Friday rescued a driver who called 911 to report his car was being swept downstream in a wash by storm runoff flowing across a low area of a road.

Tucson Fire Department Battalion Chief Barrett Baker said firefighters lowered a ladder down the bank’s wash and to the car, securing it with ropes, to reach the driver and help him get to safety minutes before the car was swept further downstream.

Baker said the man was cold but uninjured and didn’t require medical attention.

Tucson and Northwest Fire District personnel handled the rescue jointly because it occurred near their jurisdictions’ boundary.


6:55 a.m.

Flood watches and advisories remained in effect Friday morning across a broad swath of Arizona due to runoff from heavy rain in some areas.

The watches issued by the National Weather Service for parts of central and southeastern Arizona were to expire late in the morning or in the afternoon.

The weather service said Munds Park south of Flagstaff had 3.35 inches (8.5 centimeters) of rain and Happy Jack and Oak Creek Canyon had over 2 inches (5 centimeters).

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