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Flood hits tribal land days before camping closes for season

Town outside Grand Canyon to break ground on housing project
Posted at 7:28 PM, Dec 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-02 21:28:41-05

SUPAI, Ariz. (AP) - A popular tourist spot deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon was flooded over the holiday, sending tourists scrambling to higher ground.

The flood happened just days before the Havasupai Tribe shuts down its reservation to tourists for the season.

About 170 people were at the campground when a flood hit in the pre-dawn hours Friday. No one was injured, but some tourists woke up drenched and lost gear.

Tribal Vice Chairman Matthew Putesoy Sr. says the switchbacks on a trail leading to the campground remained icy Monday.

The area is known for its blue-green waterfalls, which turned chocolate brown with the heavy rainfall.

The tribe plans to close its tourist operations this week until February when permits for the campground go on sale again.