Arizona woman swept away by floodwaters at Zion National Park found dead after four-day search – USA TODAY

SALT LAKE CITY — A 29-year-old Arizona woman who disappeared in Zion National Park was found dead on Monday, ending a four-day search that extended beyond the park’s southern border.
Jetal Agnihotri of Tucson, Arizona, was discovered miles from the area where she was swept away by floodwaters, park rangers announced in a Tuesday news release.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the friends and family,” Jeff Bradybaugh, Zion National Park’s superintendent, said in the release.
Agnihotri was hiking with friends through a well-known slot canyon called The Narrows when the group was swept downstream by flash floodwaters overtaking the Virgin River. While the rest of the group made it to safety, Agnihotri did not, prompting rangers to embark on a search mission that used swift water trained rescuers, search dogs and more than 170 emergency responders, according to the National Park Service.
Both the National Weather Service and Washington County in Utah had issued flood warnings for the area that day. Agnihotri’s brother told local television station KSL-TV that she did not know how to swim.
A DISASTROUS ‘MEGAFLOOD’ IN SUNNY AND DRY CALIFORNIA? It’s happened before.
Slot canyons in Zion National Park can be as narrow as windows and hundreds of feet deep in certain parts. They are among the outdoor destination’s most scenic and visited areas.
But flooding, this year and historically, can transform canyons, slick rocks and normally dry washes into deadly channels of fast-moving water and debris in mere minutes. The National Park Service said floodwaters had increased the amount flowing through the Virgin River by up to 8,229 gallons during the monsoonal rains that swept away Agnihotri.
In previous years, similar floods have erected walls of water as tall as buildings, engulfing vehicles, rolling boulders and tearing out trees. In September 2015, seven canyongoers drowned in a similar storm, which also killed another 12 who were later found amid mud and debris in a nearby town.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *