More than a hundred individuals were evacuated from hotels and homes near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona on Tuesday due to flooding triggered by heavy rainfall. Authorities instructed others to stay indoors to remain safe.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received reports of flooding caused by intense rain around 4 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET) on Tuesday in the town of Tusayan, which is located south of the southern entrance to the Grand Canyon. This information was shared in a post on their official Facebook page.
Around a hundred residents and visitors staying in hotels were relocated to safer areas until the flooding subsided. Additionally, approximately seventy students from the Grand Canyon Unified School District had to seek refuge on their school premises. However, they were later allowed to return home, as stated by the sheriff’s office. Thankfully, no injuries were reported in connection with the flooding.
Due to the water levels rising to around three feet, U.S. Highway 64 had to be temporarily closed. However, it has now been reopened for travel.
- Advertisement -
Tusayan, known as the “gateway to the Grand Canyon,” has a history closely intertwined with the Grand Canyon National Park, dating back to its establishment in 1919. The Coconino County issued a statement on Twitter, explaining that a substantial amount of rainfall had affected the Coconino Wash, an adjacent waterway to Tusayan. They also employed the County’s RAVE Emergency Notifications System to advise people in flood-prone areas to remain indoors until the floodwaters recede.
The Grand Canyon National Park Service responded to the closure of Highway 64 by urging individuals to refrain from traveling to or from Tusayan until further notice. They also advised against visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon due to the situation.
In a subsequent update around 9:30 p.m. local time (12:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday), it was announced that the highway had been reopened. However, power outages persisted in Tusayan as repair crews worked to address the damage caused by the flooding.
The National Weather Service in Flagstaff prolonged the areal flood advisory until 10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) on Wednesday for regions including Tusayan and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This extension was due to the ongoing flooding as a result of the heavy rainfall that occurred earlier on Tuesday.