updated 7/20/2010 9:06:26 PM ET 2010-07-21T01:06:26

A 12-year-old girl died after being swept away in Flagstaff, Ariz., floodwaters, authorities said on Tuesday.

The girl's father found her body downstream from an old mine, where she had been watching the floodwaters with her sister, the Arizona Daily Sun reported.

Coconino County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Gerry Blair said Shaelyn Wilson, 12, had fallen into a wash and was swept away.

The National Weather Service says more than 2 inches of rain fell in areas of Flagstaff that were charred last month by a 15,000-acre wildfire. The resulting floodwaters forced dozens of residents to flee their homes Tuesday afternoon.

County emergency officials sent word to 900 residents, urging them to seek higher ground. It's not immediately known how many residents evacuated.

The sheriff's office says a shelter is being set up at an elementary school.

Authorities shut down a portion of North Highway 89 because of the floodwaters as dozens of residents waited alongside the road for the water to recede. Others gathered in parking lots nearby.

Joan Piwetz said she arrived home and heard a loud roar. Minutes later, her home was surrounded by water at least 3 feet deep.

"It was the scariest thing to see a black, raging river," she said.

Piwetz said she grabbed her purse and 4-year-old son, got in her car and got out safely. She left behind the family's ducks and chickens, doubting they had much of a chance to survive. Piwetz said she honked at other motorists along the highway to warn them to turn back.

The 15,000-acre wildfire was started June 20 by a campfire that was abandoned without being properly extinguished.

Piwetz said she and her husband have lived in north Flagstaff for five years and just purchased flood insurance after the wildfire. Unfortunately, the policy doesn't take effect until next month.

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