Residents of Punkin Center trapped by flooded creek

Residents of Punkin Center trapped by flooded creek

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PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. -

The weekend rainfall caused heavy flooding in Punkin Center, located about halfway between Phoenix and Payson.

Tonto Creek used to be a puddle, and now it's a raging river. All the rain flooded one of three main roads into that community, so the people who live in that neighborhood are stuck there until the water recedes.

It may take up to a week for the road to be passable again.

The hundreds who live in that community can't get into town without taking a back road that takes them hours out of the way -- so many of them prepared and bought supplies ahead of time.

"Heating oil and propane and groceries and medications," says Tonto Basin Fire Chief Steve Holt. "The people that have been over there a long time just plan on it."

Monday, 26 kids got to stay home from school because they weren't able to get there.

Sunday, firefighters responded to three water rescues after motorists tried to cross the swollen creek and got stuck. No one was hurt.

If there is a big emergency in the area, a helicopter will fly in to respond.

Residents hope the government will build a bridge over the creek, because the flooding happens up to several times a year.

FOX 10's Mia Garcia reports.

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