Hundreds evacuated from Grand Canyon flooding


(CNN) — Heavy overnight rains flooded a stretch of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of tourists and residents, officials said Sunday.

Floodwaters in the Grand Canyon at the weekend forced the evacuation of hundreds of people.

The rains caused a breach at the earthen Redland Dam early Sunday, sending a rush of water into the Supai village, within the Havasupai Indian Reservation, said Gerry Blair, spokesman for the Coconino County sheriff’s department.

He said helicopters were evacuating more than 200 campers, paddlers and other tourists, and another 200 residents of the Supai area.

The evacuees are being taken to a Red Cross shelter in the Hualapai Tribal Gymnasium in Peach Springs.

Meanwhile, three empty tour boats were spotted down the river, but all 16 occupants were located on a ledge off the river bank, said Maureen Oltrogge, spokeswoman for Grand Canyon National Park. All 16 were airlifted from the scene and transported to the shelter.

More rain was forecast for the area Sunday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.