National News

Phoenix hikers survive flash flood, now calling for warning signs near deadly trail

Posted July 18, 2017 11:24 a.m. EDT

— Ryan Trujillo has cell phone video of the devastating flash flood near Payson Saturday.

Trujillo and three friends had gone for a hike at Cold Spring Falls when all of a sudden a wall of water came roaring through.

"It happened really fast," said Trujillo. "It happened in a matter of 20 seconds."

"We turn around and all of a sudden all this water is coming with logs and trees," said fellow hiker Nicole Smith. "We turn back and look at the trail that we saw our friends go down, and the water filled it up."

Fortunately, the friends from Phoenix were on high enough ground they didn't get washed away.

But a nearby family wasn't as lucky.

At least nine people, including several children, were killed in the flash flood.

Trujillo and Smith consider themselves experienced hikers but said they had no way of knowing they were in any danger.

The Phoenix friends want to know why there are no signs in the area warning hikers and swimmers of possible flash flooding after it rains.

"There's nothing warning you that this is going to happen," said Smith. "There's (sic) no signs, no flood warnings. The way the rescue team sounded - they sounded like this happens often and that's not right."

Trujillo and Smith would like the Gila County Sheriffs Office and Tonto National Forest to make some changes, and put up flash flood warning signs in the area, where last weekend's tragedy took place.

"There just needs to be more precautions warning people," said Trujillo.