The U.S. Defense Department says U-H 60 Blackhawk crew with the Arizona Army National Guard rescued three stranded climbers in snow covered Haribo Canyon in Sedona, Arizona on Tuesday.
It says the climbers were hoisted up and flown to a command post, so they could be driven to a hospital. It also says the same helicopter crew hoisted up four members of a local rescue team from the same area.
The rescues happened as residents around northern Arizona were digging themselves out from the latest in a series of winter storms. The one that hit the state Sunday and moved out Tuesday afternoon dumped more than 2 feet (half a meter) of snow in parts of Flagstaff, Prescott, Show Low and Payson, according to the National Weather Service.
A stretch of Interstate 17 in Arizona between the turnoff to Sedona and Flagstaff was closed until Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, a semi-truck crashed on westbound Interstate 40 between Kingman and Flagstaff, spilling motor oil on the roadway and backing up traffic for several miles, Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said.
No one was seriously injured in the multiple slide-offs and crashes, he said.