Two Recent Tragedies Remind Us Of 'Need To Know Before You Go'
August 1, 2021
Excerpts From NPR Articles
Flash Flood Proves Deadly
In mid-July, the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report of two individuals missing and multiple parties injured after flash flood activity impacted Tatahatso Camp near River Mile 38 on the Colorado River. ... one patient who was in critical condition was flown out via Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter ... four additional patients were evacuated by air to the Flagstaff Medical Center. At approximately 11 a.m. on July 15, the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report that a commercial river trip had located the two missing individuals near Tatahatso Camp, one deceased and one uninjured.
Dangerous Floods Are Common
Flash floods are common in the desert southwest, including Northern Arizona. This is because the arid, sparsely vegetated environments found in these areas have little capacity to absorb rainfall. The resulting runoff moves rapidly through the narrow canyons and steep terrain found throughout the region. In many areas, even small storms can turn normally dry streambeds into raging torrents of water in a matter of minutes.
Be Alert And Informed
Be alert for the possibility of flash flooding anytime that rainfall is forecast. For more information on weather dangers in Grand Canyon National Park visit: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/weather-dangers.htm.
Hiker Fatality On Bright Angel Trail
On July 19 at approximately 9:47 a.m., the Grand Canyon Communications Center received a report of a hiker with a medical emergency in progress on the Bright Angel Trail. The caller determined and told dispatchers that the hiker did not have a pulse. Bystanders initiated CPR and National Park Service Search and Rescue personnel responded and assisted with resuscitation efforts. All attempts to resuscitate the individual were unsuccessful. The victim has was identified as a 56-year-old male. He was returning from a day trip to Plateau Point when he became unresponsive near Mile-and-Half Resthouse.
Read These; They Could Save Your Life
Before heading down trail, hikers are strongly encouraged to read the Hiking Tips page and check the Backcountry Updates and Closures page for current information on inner canyon conditions. More information about hiking safely in the summer is available at https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hike-smart.htm.
The Bright Angel Trailhead in early morning. (NPS Photo/M. Quinn)