August 18th, 2008
11:23 AM ET

Officials to decide on further Grand Canyon evacuations

Authorities will decide Monday whether a few hundred people in the area of the Grand Canyon still need to be evacuated, an official said.

Authorities halted the evacuation Sunday night of those initially thought to be in danger after rain breached an earthen dam at the Grand Canyon, said Gerry Blair, spokesman for the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

A decision about whether crews will evacuate them is expected Monday, Blair said.

The group awaiting word on evacuations were on high ground and did not appear to be in immediate danger by Sunday night, the spokesman said.

Rescue crews in helicopters evacuated about 170 others Sunday after water poured through Redland Dam, sending water down two canyons and threatening several hundred tourists and residents, Blair said.

Officials also plan to resume the search Monday for "less than 20" people who were in the affected area and whose whereabouts are not yet known to authorities, Blair said.

The air evacuations were called off due to darkness at 8:30 p.m. Sunday (11:30 p.m. ET).

Most of the 170 people evacuated Sunday were campers, tourists and paddlers, he said.

A few hundred others - perhaps as many as 400 - remained in the area of concern. Most are permanent residents of Supai village, located within the Havasupai Indian Reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Severe Weather
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    It seems like we have had an overabundance of rain this year in some places – the Midwest that flooded so catastrophically, now the Grand Canyon, and of course hurricane areas. If this is what we have to look forward to in the years ahead with climate change getting worse, then we desperately need our leaders and representatives to get to work now on a comprehensive energy/climate bill that will fund research for new ways to produce our electricity and run our cars, but also fund rescue efforts more fully because if this year is a harbinger of things to come we're going to be doing a lot of rescuing.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 18, 2008 at 9:11 pm |
  2. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    This extreme weather is certainly something that is causing heartache everywhere.People are suffering and losing thier homes due to foreclosure weather realted disters .This is a warning to us all we sut change our way lof living and truly care about other people again this will only bring good and not sadness.

    August 18, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  3. Martina Ilstad

    What happen with our wold?only in us there are 2 clima catastrohs.one dambursting in arizona second hurrican in florida in this days.there is no question about clima change,its happen just now.the question is how we live with that new clima.we have to do our duty for us and our children.we have to pratect the wold now,bevor it is to late!!!!!!!!

    August 18, 2008 at 2:22 pm |