Crews continue to search Sunday afternoon for a person still unaccounted for, a day after the flash flood hit the Cold Springs canyon, located about 100 miles (160.93 kilometers) northeast of Phoenix.
"They had no warning", Sattelmaier told the Associated Press.
The area in recent months had suffered a series of forest fires that are believed to have created a large amount of debris that washed down through the creek and burst through the swimming hole on Saturday, the Payson Fire Department said.
On Sunday, police said it was hard to know how many more people were missing since they do not know exactly how many were swimming in the hole when the floods occurred.
Witnesses who came upon the area after the flash flood described seeing adults in trees, holding small children.
Four other people were rescued and taken to hospitals on Saturday, Hornung said, after the office received an emergency call around 3 p.m.
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"I could have just died!"
She captured the frightening moments on her cell phone, adding that they saw people in need of rescue and tried to help, but it was so risky. Had they been swept downstream, they would have been sent over a 20-foot waterfall, Alexander said.
There had been thunderstorms throughout the area near Payson, about an hour and half's drive from Phoenix, but it wasn't raining where the swimmers were. Some know it was as Ellison Creek or Water Wheel swimming holes. Storms are expected into the middle of the week.
Four bodies have been recovered after a popular swimming hole in Arizona was suddenly engulfed by flash flooding, with a child among the dead.
"It wasn't even raining where these people were at", he said. But officials warn that visitors need to be aware of the dangers of a flash flood.
"We were on this trail, and 10 minutes into the trail, we started seeing water flooding down, just a lot of water coming down", said Mandisa Alexander. The couple, in their 60s, was swept away in the flood. Farther up the canyon narrows and becomes rockier, its walls steeper.