UPDATE: Fire officials identify teen girl swept away in floodwaters near Cottonwood
COTTONWOOD, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The Verde Valley Fire District has released the name of a 16-year-old girl swept away in a Cottonwood wash. Fire officials say Faith Moore got stranded while driving near Cottonwood Saturday night.
Fire officials say they are thankful for volunteer efforts, adding that much of the community has stepped in to help locate the girl. Faith is the granddaughter of the recently retired Fire Chief from the Verde Valley Fire District and the retired EMS Chief from Verde Valley Ambulance, also the niece of an active Cottonwood Firefighter.
Some of the her belongings have been recovered so far in the search.
Verde Valley fire along with Cottonwood fire and police were dispatched at around 9:40 p.m. to a low river crossing area. While crews attempted to rescue the driver, she was swept down stream. More than three inches of rain fell in the area in just one hour. Crews say she was swept down in the same wash as a K9 officer earlier that evening. Rising waters and active storms stopped crews from deploying a rescue helicopter that night. Officials say she was last seen wearing a light blue shirt, blue shorts, and white tennis shoes.
The search for Faith is continuing with K9 units and with search watercrafts. An incoming storm has hit the Verde Valley making the search more difficult, but fire and law enforcement will carry on their work keeping the safety of first responders foremost. Volunteers are being moved out of the area to avoid injury in the event of another flashflood.
Verde Valley reminds the public to please be aware of running water in road crossings and to remain vigilant near the Verde River in light of the stormy weather.
Another news conference is expected to be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
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