UPDATE Havasu Falls Flash Flood 201807131606


7/19/2018
We have not had an official Havasupai Media Release since the one shown below of July 13, 2018 4:06.  We have noticed they have updated their official website to indicate the area is closed to visitors/tourist until at least the end of July 2018.
Click the link for the Official Havasupai Website

************************************************************************

7/13/2018
UPDATE Havasu Falls Flash Flood July 13, 2018 4:06 local
Release:201807131606

Havasupai Media Release:

Havasupai Tribe’s Quick Response Ensures All Visitors Safely Evacuated Following Flash Flood.

The nearly 200 visitors onsite at the campgrounds at Havasupai Falls were safely evacuated from the area by 6 pm Thursday, July 12, 2018.  Thanks to the quick response from the Havasupai Tribal Council and the Havasupai Tourism Enterprise employees, there were no serious injuries or casualties reported.

Many had to evacuate without their packs. Grand Canyon Caverns provided food for those who were evacuated, along with showers and usage of the Cavern’s telephones.

There were two waves of flooding.  About 7 feet of flood waters hit Supai shortly before dark on July 11, 2018.  Brian Klimowski of the National Weather Service in Flagstaff contacted the tribe around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 with a flood advisory for the area.

The Tribal Council immediately activated the Tourist Office and Emergency Response Team, who promptly evacuated the campgrounds.  There were 17 visitors on the opposite side of the flooded creek that were unable to leave the area immediately.   They were able to safely evacuate the area at sunrise on July 12, after the water had receded.

The second wave of flooding occurred at approximately 3:30 am on July 12.

The Tribal Council opened up the Community Building and the elementary school for all visitors to sleep.  In addition, the Tribe opened up the store and distributed food and supplies to the tourists.

The waves of flood waters did not hit Supai Village (approximately 1 ½ miles from the campground), but there is some significant flooding in several Tribal buildings due to the rain water.  In addition, there are reports of debris, sinkholes and a bridge that has been compromised. This is throughout the Tribal Community (non-public areas).

The Arizona Department of Public Safety dispatched a field officer to Supai to assist Tribal leadership in assessing and evaluating the conditions.  The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (AZ DEMA) and Coconino County Emergency Management will also be assisting the Tribe in assessing and evaluating the conditions of the area.

Following these evaluations, the Tribal Council will determine if it qualifies for federal disaster relief designation and will consider at that time whether to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

There are approximately 400 tribal members that live in Supai as well an additional 10-15 people who are contracted tribal or federal employees.  Helicopter service is running as scheduled and anyone currently in Supai is able to leave via helicopter if they so choose.

Indian Route 18 remains closed to the public until further notice. Tribal members, law enforcement and emergency response teams will be able to travel via Indian Route 18.

The trail from Hilltop is unsafe and due to the conditions in Supai, the area remains closed to visitors  until the Tribe repairs the damaged campgrounds and determines that the area is safe.  Tourists with confirmed reservations should contact their travel agent or outfitter for more information.  If your visit is directly impacted by this closure, you will have the option to reschedule your reservation, although specifics on the process are unavailable at this time.

The tourism office estimates that there are approximately 300 reservations that may be impacted by the closure.

Please DO NOT contact the Tribal Tourism Office at this time.  All phone lines are being used for emergency services.  Updated information regarding re-opening will posted on the Tribe’s website http://theofficialhavasupaitribe.com/.

Video at this link is courtesy of Tara Brewer

1,829 total views, 3 views today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *