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Hikers share how they escaped a flash flood in Sabino Canyon

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 21:22:36-04

Nearly two dozen hikers were trapped in a flash flood in Sabino Canyon on Sunday. 

Bel'la Ca'talina D'Vignon and Boyce Porter were two of the hikers who were caught in the flash flood. 

They say they got to Sabino Canyon around 9 am and didn't think it would rain.

"Sunny, just like this... yeah the weather was nice, we were able to swim, sunbathe, do a little bit of hiking so there really wasn't an indicator that there was going to be a flash flood," she said.

After a couple hours into their hike, they say they noticed it starting to rain hard.

"I was sunbathing and Boyce looked up and was like, 'Oh my gosh we got to go, we got to go.'"

They say they sat under a rock for nearly an hour while water rushed over their heads. 

When it stopped, they say they went back to sunbathe until they noticed the water level rise. 

"I got up from sun tan bathing, I was disoriented because I didn't recognize anything... nothing was the same again," she said. "So this is the path I took right here."

They say they climbed up a hill to get to safety. 

Just when they thought they were safe, their next challenge was waiting.  

Nearly 20 hikers were holding onto branches as water rushed up to their waists. 

"They got in the water and they were some pretty amazing people to be so creative to break a branch and form a barrier so we could all cross," she explained.

She says parents had newborns, 1 to 2-year-old babies, and strollers with them--- all trying to get across. 

"Complete strangers, but working together as a team and on our way down we just started collecting people on our way down and they wanted to come down with us to do whatever to get back," she said.

They say after hours of no food or water, trams and officer vehicles came up to drive the hikers down to safety.