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Grand Canyon flooding leaves devastation

Aug. 20, 2008 at 2:06 PM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Tribal members have returned to their Arizona homes and 11 missing tourists were found as Grand Canyon flood waters receded.

More than 250 people were evacuated because of the flooding in Havasu Canyon, which left thick mud throughout the area and impassable trails and bridges, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

"It's devastating," said Drusilla Clarke, speaking for the Bureau of Indian Affairs about the Havasupai tribal areas. "My grandparents lived down there. It's going to be really hard for the people."

The missing hikers had actually been among the first airlifted from their area but their names were inadvertently left off rosters.

Not so fortunate will be the tourism fortunes upon which the tribe depends for approximately $2 million annually.

"I'm afraid it looks pretty grave," Billy Jack of the Havasupai tourism office told the Republic. "The whole area's unstable, especially toward the falls. "The tourist dollars are really critical."

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