Last week a sad reminder of the danger that exists while hiking in the desert Southwest.
A couple from Walnut Creek, California were killed when a unexpected flash flood roared down the canyon they were hiking in on the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Kathy and Gordon Chapple were killed and others in the party are lucky to be alive after a massive flash flood wen through the canyon at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon.
Fast-moving thunderstorms had passed above the Egypt Trailhead area about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, dropping up to a half-inch of rain, said Randy Graham, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
The Chapples were in a hiking party of 8 with their children and two guides. The survivors managed to cling to canyon walls until the water subsided enough to safely get out of the canyon.
As a local resident the 1997 flash flood that went through Antelope Canyon just outside of Page, Arizona and killed 11, is never far from memory.
My son, David, has shot several front walls of flash floods moving through the Wahweap Creek area that ends up in Lake Powell. He has produced a dvd that has been used in schools and by the National Weather Service to help educate and inform people of the flash flood danger that exists.
This footage is about four minutes of a couple of different flash floods. This water is moving through a fairly wide area, but keep in mind in a canyon narrows, this could be quickly deadly.Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chapple family and their friends this week.