http://www.comcast.net/articles/news...nyon.Flooding/Originally Posted by APGrand Canyon floods breach dam, force evacuations
In this photo released by the the National Park Service (NPS), a stranded ra...
1 hour ago
PHOENIX Days of heavy rains around the Grand Canyon caused an earthen dam to fail Sunday and created flooding that forced helicopters to pluck hundreds of residents and campers from the gorge. No injuries were immediately reported.
The failure of the Redlands Dam caused some flooding in Supai, a village on a canyon floor where about 400 members of the Havasupai tribe live, said Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge. The current floods and potential for more required the evacuations, she said.
No structures were damaged after the dam failed about 45 miles upstream from Supai, but some hiking trails and footbridges were washed out, she said. Trees were uprooted, the National Weather Service said.
Nearly 80 people had evacuated as of early Sunday evening, said Red Cross spokeswoman Tracey Kiest. Evacuations were still in progress.
As much as 8 inches of rain since Friday caused trouble even before the dam burst. A private boating party of 16 people was stranded on a ledge at the confluence of Havasu Creek and the Colorado River on Saturday night after flood waters carried their rafts away, Oltrogge said.
The boaters were found uninjured and were being rescued from the Grand Canyon, whose floor is unreachable in many places except by helicopter.
Rescuers were trying to find visitors staying at the Supai Campground and escort them to safety, Oltrogge said.
Evacuees were being flown to a parking area 8 miles from Supai and then, if needed, bused to a Red Cross shelter in Peach Springs, about 60 miles southwest of Supai, the spokeswoman said.
The area got 3 to 6 inches of ran Friday and Saturday and got about 2 more on Sunday, said Daryl Onton, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Flagstaff.
"That's all it took just a few days of very heavy thunderstorms," he said.
Supai is on Havasu and Cataract creeks about 30 miles northwest of Grand Canyon Village, a popular tourist area on the south rim. Havasu Creek feeds the Colorado, which runs the length of the canyon.
The flooding came on a weekend during the busy summer tourist season, when thousands of visitors a day flock to the canyon for spectacular views, hikes or to raft its whitewater.
The helicopters lifting residents out were from the National Park Service, the National Guard and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Oltrogge said.
In 2001, flooding near Supai swept a 2-year-old boy and his parents to their deaths while they were hiking.
The Grand Canyon has been the traditional home of the Havasupai for centuries.
Not political, or even bike related, so I guess Foo? Scary thought though, being below a dam break, isn't it?