Swift water rescue

A 39-year-old man was rescued when his vehicle was swept by swift water during Saturday evening’s monsoon storm.

THATCHER — The rain came down hard Saturday night, Aug. 10, and one man made the decision to drive down a farm road. His vehicle was overcome by runoff water, but he was reportedly unharmed.

Local authorities were alerted at roughly 8 p.m. Saturday night about a man, later identified as Rory Long, 39, whose vehicle was being swept away by water.

Thatcher Fire Chief Mike Payne told the Courier that apparently Long drove his vehicle out on a farm road north of First Avenue and was swept away.

Long called authorities when the water rose above his headlights. He reportedly did not know his location.

“We didn’t know where he was at, and we found him about 11 p.m.,” Payne said. “One of the farmers found him down there. It turned out he turned off the highway and turned down and then right.”

The Graham County Sheriff’s Office and Graham County Search and Rescue were involved in the search Saturday, as well as the Thatcher Police Department. While Long was reportedly unharmed, there was a substantial amount of water damage to his vehicle.

“We appreciate all the help. We always do a lot of training with Search and Rescue, and we try to work together,” Payne said.

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