Search Is on for 16-Year-Old Girl Swept Away in 8-Foot Ariz. Floodwaters: 'We're Not Giving Up'
Faith Moore was driving home from work when she got caught in the flash flood, according to a GoFundMe page
A search is underway for a 16-year-old girl who officials say was swept away in her vehicle during an Arizona flash flood.
In a press release on Facebook, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office identified the teenager as Faith Moore, the granddaughter of a retired Verde Valley Fire District Fire Chief and EMS Chief from Verde Valley Ambulance, as well as the niece of a current firefighter in Cottonwood.
Officials said the incident unfolded on Saturday evening after Faith drove through a low water crossing on Camino Real.
A GoFundMe page, set up by Faith's cousin to help her family's search and rescue efforts, said the teen was on her way home from work when she was caught in the flash flood.
According to authorities, Faith called 911 around 9:30 p.m. to report that she was stranded in her car and the water was up to her knees.
"Though the water was only to her knees at the time she called for help, the water quickly rose to over 8 feet within an hour," the sheriff's office stated in a post.
When first responders got to the scene, Faith's vehicle was gone, Verde Valley Fire District Chief Danny Johnson said during a news conference, according to the Arizona Republic.
Crews had to search by flashlight before finding a vehicle with a silhouette of a person inside that had been pushed toward a wash, the outlet reported, citing Johnson. However, by the time first responders got closer, the person had been swept out of the vehicle and was nowhere to be found.
"I want to stress again to the public how dangerous these water crossings can be, even when it looks shallow," Johnson said, per the Republic. "A simple decision to cross the road with running water can quickly turn tragic."
In their press release, Yavapai County officials explained that "swiftly rising waters and active storms made air support impossible [on Saturday]" but they have continued to search over the last two days by ground, water and air.
On Sunday, authorities provided an update that confirmed Faith's personal items had been found "but heartbreakingly, she has not yet been located."
Later that day, officials said an incoming storm in the area had added challenges to the search, but that they would continue their efforts while "keeping the safety of first responders foremost."
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As of Monday morning, Faith was still missing.
The sheriff's office said more resources, including additional canine units, the National Guard, and other federal assets, will come to assist if the search continues for more days.
Local volunteers have also pitched in to help, but have been asked to check in with public safety personnel at the command post at Mingus High School so professionals can coordinate properly.
"For the safety of the volunteers and others, please do not attempt to search on your own without first speaking to command staff, and again thank you to everyone who has given their time and their hearts to helping," the sheriff's office wrote on Monday.
As officials continue to search, Faith's loved ones are not giving up hope.
"We wanted to reach out and thank the community and all of the first responders and everyone who has worked so hard," Faith's grandfather said at the press conference Sunday, according to the Republic. "We know Faith is out there and we're not giving up."
Added her grandma: "We want our sweet girl home, we know she's coming home."
Those interested in helping the Moore family can do so by donating to their GoFundMe here.