Road closures remain in effect in Camp Verde area following Sunday flash floods
CAMP VERDE — Road closures remain in effect Monday morning on Verde Lakes Road and Kimberly’s Way across Dry Beaver Creek following Sunday’s announcement of flash flooding in the Camp Verde and Beaver Creek communities.
The National Weather Service in Flagstaff announced the flood threats at about 5 p.m. Sunday. They were to remain in effect until 9:45 p.m. Sunday.
Flood warnings were issued for Camp Verde, McGuireville, Montezuma Well, Montezuma Castle National Monument, Rimrock, Lake Montezuma, Wet Beaver Creek Campground and V Bar V Visitors Center.
By Monday at 8 a.m., the highest river levels reported were in Camp Verde where the Verde River was gauged at 3,770 cubic feet per second as of 8 a.m. The normal flow for the river this time of year is 202 CFS, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Last week, Copper Canyon Battalion Chief Dale Duns described what he called a “dynamic rescue” that involved close to 40 of the county’s first responders for a middle-aged man who tried to drive his pickup truck across Dry Beaver Creek.
At about 6 p.m. Wednesday, Copper Canyon Fire received call that a man tried to drive his vehicle across Dry Beaver Creek in the area of Culpepper Ranch Road, according to Dwight D'Evelyn, public affairs supervisor with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.
“His vehicle was swept down the creek,” Duns said.
Upon arrival, 16 Copper Canyon firefighters, including members of the department’s swift water team, searched from above the creek via Brocket Ranch Road until they spotted the 57-year-old man, D'Evelyn said.
“Beginning at the point of last contact, we built a box, and worked within that box until we spotted him,” Duns said.
Duns estimated that from arrival to rescue was “no more than 30 minutes.”
“But 30 minutes seems like forever,” Duns said.
When Copper Canyon reached the man, he had “self-extricated and made it to shore,” Duns said.
Duns and D'Evelyn confirmed that the man refused any additional medical treatment.
“He told me he began to drive into the water and stopped because of how deep it was,” D'Evelyn said. “He backed up a few feet and put his pickup truck in four-wheel drive. When he attempted to drive through the water this time, he got approximately half of the truck into the river before realizing the water was too deep.”
The man then “placed the truck in reverse and attempted to drive out, but the river flashed and the front end of the truck started to get pulled down stream,” so he rolled the windows down so he could escape if needed,” D'Evelyn said.
The truck began filling with water as it drifted down stream, and the man exited his vehicle through a window, D'Evelyn said.
First responders from Sedona Fire, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and Yavapai County Search and Rescue, as well as DPS rangers, provided backup, Duns said.
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