Originally Published: January 24, 2010 12:52 a.m.
UPDATE, Saturday, 4:01 p.m.:The body of a 6-year-old Mayer boy, missing since Thursday night's record storm hit Yavapai County, was discovered Saturday afternoon.Hikers located a child's body along the banks of the Agua Fria River between I-17 and the Arcosanti complex northeast of Cordes Junction at around noon and notified Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies.A YCSO Forest Patrol deputy, along with three members of the sheriff's Response Team Backcountry Unit, confirmed the body was that of Jacob Baudek, and the family was notified immediately. Jacob's body was taken to the medical examiner's office.The discovery came one day after a swift water rescue team from the Central Yavapai Fire District conducted a search in and along the river. The search began where the Baudek family truck had been disabled during Thursday's storm and continued to the I-17 overpass.The search covered approximately two miles. A little more than a mile into the search, CYFD personnel located Jacob's pajamas and backpack in a debris pile along the riverbank. A further check of the area did not reveal any clues as to his whereabouts.Saturday's find placed Jacob's body well east of the I-17 overpass and a significant distance from where his clothing was located.UPDATE, Saturday, 2:15 p.m.Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies Saturday afternoon were pursuing a possible sighting of the body of a 6-year-old Mayer boy who was swept away in the raging floodwaters of an Agua Fria River tributary late Thursday night.YCSO media relations coordinator Dwight D'Evelyn said that as of 2 p.m., deputies were en route to a remote area near the Arcosanti arts community east of Interstate 17 in search of Jacob Baudek."We may know in the next hour or so if the boy's body has been found," D'Evelyn said.At 8:45 p.m. Thursday, during a heavy winter storm, YCSO deputies responded to a reported swift water rescue incident near the Chauncey Ranch campground in the vicinity of Old Sycamore Road between Highway 69 and I-17 near Mayer.Deputies said Baudek was ripped from the back of a pick-up truck, which became stuck in the floodwaters as he, his parents and his 8-year-old sister tried to leave their Chauncey Ranch-area home.UPDATE, Friday, 6:06 p.m.Searchers found the clothing Friday afternoon of a 6-year-old boy feared drowned in floodwaters near Mayer, but still had not found the boy.Jacob Baudek was swept away Thursday night as his parents tried to cross a flooded Agua Fria River tributary that crosses Old Sycamore Road north of Highway 69, between Mayer and Spring Valley. They were trying to get him to a hospital because he was ill. His father was able to save his 8-year-old sister.Searchers found the boy's pajamas and backpack about 1.25 miles below the point where he went into the water. By 5 p.m. Friday they still had not found the boy and feared he might be buried under mud and debris, said Dwight D'Evelyn of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.Baudek was the only reported Arizona fatality from a monster storm that dumped 2-8 inches of rain on Yavapai County Wednesday through Friday morning, followed by snow as low as 4,000 feet.Black Canyon City was hit the hardest in Yavapai County. Rescuers evacuated approximately 200 residents along the Agua Fria River at about 9 p.m. Thursday, with 85 checking in to the shelter at the local elementary school.The National Weather Service expects the storm to leave the state Saturday, with snow in Prescott coming to an end late Saturday morning. A winter storm warning remains in effect in the Yavapai County mountains until noon Saturday.Granite Creek in Prescott flooded to a record level of 13.3 feet Thursday night. Flood stage is 11 feet.But forecasts for the Verde River and Oak Creek to flood did not come to fruition.The snow levels quickly dropped lower than the National Weather Service anticipated Thursday, helping to avert potentially devastating flooding in the Verde Valley and Prescott."And the snow pack was so deep it was able to absorb some of that water in the Verde and Oak Creek" watersheds, added David Vonderheide of the National Weather Service in Flagstaff.However, at an elevation just below 2,000 feet, Black Canyon City didn't benefit so much from the snowpack. The Agua Fria River crested at 27.91 feet at 11 p.m. Thursday, a new record. Flood stage is 16 feet.The Rivers Edge RV Park at the confluence of the Agua Fria and Black Canyon Creek was the hardest hit, with many homes 15-20 feet underwater before the floodwater receded.The Black Canyon Fire Department used boats to rescue at least 18 people from the Green Valley, Indian Hills and Squaw Valley Parkway areas, and neighbors helped others.On Friday afternoon, the state brought in a helicopter to drop 20-30 cases of water to residents isolated on the west side of Black Canyon Creek. The creek crossing is completely washed out.Although Crown King received one of the highest rainfall totals in the state, nearly 10 inches in two days, no one remained trapped by floodwaters by Friday afternoon, Fire Chief Steve Lombardo said.The fire department did have to temporarily close the main, steep road into Crown King Thursday night when Poland Creek washed over it. The small, isolated community sits on top of the southern Bradshaw Mountains about 20 miles south of Prescott.Firefighters didn't find any mudslide issues in the area where the Lane 2 wildfire burned near Crown King last year, Lombardo added.Wind gusts hit 67 mph at the Prescott airport. Gusts in Yarnell to the south blew the entire roof off the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office substation, County Emergency Management Coordinator Nick Angiolillo said.The county also temporarily lost its ability to take 911 calls for about an hour Thursday night when Qwest lines went down, Angiolillo said.Several Skull Valley residents without power came to a shelter at Yavapai College in Prescott Thursday night, Angiolillo added.Interstate 40 was scheduled to re-open Friday night, but Interstate 17 north of Sedona as well as Highway 89A through Oak Creek Canyon remain closed through at least noon today.Reporter Diana Baker contributed to this story.UPDATE, Friday, 2:08 p.m.:The Central Yavapai Fire District swift-water rescue team continue to assist Mayer firefighters and Sheriff's deputies Friday in their search for a 6-year-old boy who was swept away from his family near Old Sycamore Road between Highway 69 and I-17. Two members of the team did sweeps in a grid pattern looking for the boy, who has been identified as Jacob Baudek. His parents are David and Katrina Baudek.The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office has been flying rescue planes along the banks of the Agua Fria where Jacob was last seen, said Dwight D'Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office."We haven't found any sign of him yet," D'Evelyn said.As the heavy snow and freezing rain continued Friday around the Prescott area, agencies responded to calls about flooding, power failures and people trapped in swift water.Communications Director Paul Laipple said the Regional Dispatch Center received 545 calls for service for flooding, public assistance, a swift water rescue in Prescott Valley, and a structure fire in the 300 block of Park Ave.Paramedics took one person injured in the fire to a burn center in Phoenix for treatment, Laipple said. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and its cause remains under investigation.The National Weather Service reports that hazardous weather conditions - snow and freezing rain - will continue today, with storm warning and flood watch alerts in effect as well.Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall declared a state of emergency Thursday."We encourage people to not be out in this weather," said Sgt. Corey Kasun of the Prescott Police. "If they can, people should stay home and stay warm."While police continue to deal with fallen trees and downed power lines, their main focus Friday was shutting down all the creek crossings due to high water."We ask people to obey the closed crossing signs we have up," Kasun said. "Don't drive across areas with water - it's not worth the risk. You can't tell how deep that water is and your vehicle may not make it though."Police have been pulling over drivers who ignore the closed crossings signs.Incident Commanders Prescott Police Chief Mike Kabbel and Fire Chief Bruce Martinez said low crossing warnings were lifted for the Forest Hylands development off White Spar in south Prescott. Jack Drive in the Pleasant Valley area near The Crossings at Willow Creek Road remains open.City Field Operations crews worked thoughout the night clearing the main streets removing downed trees blocking roadways, and keeping storm drains clear."The wet snow has not caused many issues on the roads so far today, but that will change as night falls and it gets icy," Kasun said.Public Works crews worked though the night, monitoring the dams at Watson and Goldwater Lakes."Though water levels are high, the dams are in good shape," said Mark Nietupski, public works director.The Red Cross reports that its shelter at the Yavapai College gymnasium remains open until further notice.In the Blue Hills area of Dewey, a truck got stuck in the wash at around 8:30 p.m. Thursday off Kachina Place at Beetle Bug Pass, said Charlie Cook, spokesman for the Central Yavapai Fire District. When water came in the truck's cab, the man and woman inside climbed out onto the truck's bed and made it to the ground safely.About 200 people were evacuated from Black Canyon City due to high water, D'Evelyn said. The American Red Cross set up a shelter at Canyon High School, and about 80 people remain there.D'Evelyn said he'd also heard that someone got provisions to the seven women hikers who were stranded when the water rose near Black Canyon.In Prescott Valley, one crash reported Thursday was weather-related, said Sgt. Brandon Bonney, spokesman for the Prescott Valley Police Department.Chino Valley dispatchers said they had no weather-related calls Friday morning.Firefighters responded to an area in Paulden where rising water was reported, but no one was trapped, said Gary Young, battalion chief for Chino Valley Fire Department."APS has mostly restored power service around the City of Prescott," said Mike Johnsen, spokesman for APS.Crews are working to restore power in the Mountain Club near Copper Basin Road where about 20 customers remain without power, mountain communities south of Groom Creek where 400 customers remain without power, and Highland Pines and Skull Valley where about 400 customers still need power, Johnsen said.About five to 10 customers remain without power in the Cordes Lakes area, Johnsen said."The ground is so wet that repair vehicles are getting stuck in deep mud," Johnsen said. "We remain concerned that the wet ground may lead to more trees and power lines coming down if winds pick up."Another area hit hard by the storm is Oak Creek. I-17 opened up so repair crews are trying to restore power after many power lines came down, but they can't cross creeks that are flooding so it's taking a while to get crews in to help the 150 customers without power there, Johnsen said. Many roads have been closed due to the storm, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Officers closed State Route 77 between Superior and Kearny because a rockslide blocked both lanes, trapping several semi trucks with no way to turn around. State Route 74 is closed from Interstate 17 to US-60. State Route 87 is closed at Fossil Creek milepost 270 between Pine and Strawberry. This closure is in addition to the previous closures on State Route 87. State Route 260 is closed west of Camp Verde. State Route 260 between Payson and Heber is restricted to vehicles equipped with four-wheel drive or chains. US 60 is closed from Globe to Show Low in Miami and Wenden. Interstate 17 has been opened at Table Mesa. Interstate 17 remains closed at milepost 298, the Sedona exit.DPS projects the following three closures will continue for several days: US 60 remains closed in both directions due to a rockslide at MP 321. State Route 260 remains closed at milepost 340 because of snow from McNary at milepost 361 to Greer. State Route 273 at milepost 385 remains closed due to snow in the middle to Sunrise.In Flagstaff, Interstate 40 and Interstate 17 remain closed and State Route 89A from Flagstaff to Sedona is still closed. There are no predictions as to when roadways will open. There are no other closures in the Flagstaff area except US 180, which remains closed.Heavy snow continues to fall in Flagstaff, so snowplowing crews are out on all highways in the Flagstaff and Holbrook Arizona Department of Transportation districts.Crews are dealing with flooding issues south of Flagstaff on I-17, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.- LISA IRISH, The Daily Courier