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Ariz. first responders’ granddaughter missing after flash flooding

The missing 16-year-old is the granddaughter of retired Verde Valley Fire, Ambulance chiefs and is the niece of a Cottonwood firefighter

faith moore.jpg

Photo/Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office

Helena Wegner
The Charlotte Observer

COTTONWOOD, Ariz. — Faith Moore was trapped on top of her car in a low water crossing Saturday night in Arizona.

As floodwater rushed around her the 16-year-old girl dialed 911, officials in Cottonwood, a town 19 miles west of Sedona, said.

The water rose quickly. When she made the call for help, the water was knee level, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Sunday.

An hour later, the fast-moving flood rose to eight feet, officials said.

Rescue crews made contact with Moore around 9:40 p.m., but she was swept away downstream, Verde Valley Fire Chief Danny Johnson said in a statement Sunday.

“The crews immediately deployed search teams that began searching down the river from Camino Real to the 260,” Johnson said.

Search teams include Cottonwood Police Department, Cottonwood Fire Department, Verde Valley Fire District and Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.

During the search, a police dog also got caught in the flood water, and officials said the dog made it out of the “torrent.”

Air support wasn’t available the night Moore went missing due to “rising waters” and “active storms,” he said.

Triggered by seasonal monsoons, counties across Arizona experienced heavy rain, flash floods and thunderstorms over the weekend. And Moore wasn’t the only person to get caught in flash floods.

A 4-year-old girl in southeastern Arizona was swept away in moving water after her family’s car was trapped in a wash Thursday night. The family of six climbed on top of their vehicle, but the girl, later identified as Maci, slipped away.

Her body was discovered Monday morning, Pima Police Department told Arizona’s Family.

Another person found themselves trapped in a tree over the Agua Fria River in Avondale on Sunday, Arizona’s Family reported. The man climbed up the tree to avoid getting washed away by floodwater and was then rescued by a helicopter.

Meanwhile, the search for Moore continues. Numerous agencies have joined search efforts along with dozens of volunteers.

Officials said she has “strong ties to the community” because she is the granddaughter of Verde Valley Fire Districts recently retired fire chief, as well as a now retired EMS Chief from Verde Valley Ambulance. She’s also the niece of a Cottonwood firefighter.

“YCSO wants to stress again to the public how dangerous running water can be, even when it looks shallow. A simple decision to cross a road with running water can easily and quickly turn tragic,” Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Sunday.

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