Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Flooding prompts evacuation in Havasupai canyon

Our friends in the Havasupai Tribe report that flash flooding on Sunday afternoon forced evacuation of 150 tourists from the Havasu canyon campground. The waters came down a side canyon that did not have a water gaging warning system. It was estimated at about 1,000 cubic feet per second, comparable to a flood that hit the canyon in January. [right, aerial view of the new creek bed from 2008. My photo]

The worst flooding in a century hit the canyon in August 2008, which resulted in hundreds of camper racing to high ground in the darkness, buried the campground with many feet of sediments, and caused the creek to shift its course to the other side of the canyon. The Tribe is still dealing with the impacts of that dramatic event. The change of the creek bed may be partly contributing to the recent smaller floods affecting the campground and trails.

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