We've just been lucky something like this hasn't been this tragic.'Steve Stevens, a volunteer fire fighter with Water Wheel Search and Rescue, said visitors should stay away when there are flash flood warnings.'The clouds over on the other side of the mountain can be dumping buckets, and all of a sudden there's a wall of water coming through that just wipes out everything in its path,' said Stevens, who has lived in the area for 20 years. In 2015, seven people were killed in Utah's Zion National Park when they were trapped during a flash flood while hiking in a popular canyon that was as narrow as a window in some spots and several hundred feet deep.

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While Arizona is known for its dryness, it gets bursts of heavy rains during the summer monsoon season.

The severe thunderstorm was located in a remote area that had been burned by a recent wildfire, Sattelmaier said.

The thunderstorm hit about 8 miles upstream along Ellison Creek, which quickly flooded the narrow canyon where the swimmers were.

Hornung noted that the National Weather Service had issued a flash flood warning about 1 1/2 hours before, 'but unless they had a weather radio out there, they wouldn't have known about it.

The family, who was staying in the area, declined to be interviewed when approached by an Associated Press reporter.

The National Weather Service estimated up to 1.5 inches of rain fell over the area in an hour.

The popular cooling spot, known as the Ellison Creek or Water Wheel swimming holes, is accessible through several hiking trails.

It is about 20 feet wide and 20 feet long with a waterfall above it.

Video she posted to social media showed torrents of water surging through jagged canyons carved in Arizona's signature red rock.'I could have just died! Had they been swept downstream, they would have been sent over a 20-foot waterfall, Alexander said.

Alexander and others tried to reach them but couldn't. Some search and rescue team members were already near the swimming hole after getting a call to help someone who had suffered a bad allergic reaction, according to Detective Sgt.

It isn't the first time people have been killed when flash floods swept through so-called slot canyons, which are formed by the wear of water in rock and are typically significantly deeper than they are wide.