Hundreds Plucked From Grand Canyon Flood

Campers caught as dam breaks
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2008 10:39 PM CDT
A National Park Service rescuer plucks a rafter from the Grand Canyon and lowers him to safety.    (AP Photo/National Park Service)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of tourists, along with members of the Havasupai Native American tribe, were rescued from the Grand Canyon today after a dam broke causing serious flooding. About 300 people were rescued by helicopter over a 10-hour period after the Redlands Dam, south of the village of Supai, and 220 miles northwest of Phoenix, was breached, the Arizona Republic reports.

A river near the village swelled by as much as 8 feet. "We've had two days of very heavy rains from thunderstorms [that] dropped significant moisture over that area," said  a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Flagstaff. "That's what caused the dam to become overtopped and breached."