FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Weeks after flooding rushed through a world-famous gorge off the Grand Canyon, sending tourists fleeing to higher ground, the Arizona tribe that calls the area home is ready to welcome visitors to its reservation known for towering waterfalls that cascade into blue-green pools.
The Havasupai reservation is reopening Saturday for the first time since July 11, when about 200 people had to be evacuated by helicopter as water surged through the campground. Footbridges collapsed, tents were buried in sand and debris was strewn about.
The brunt of the damage was on an 8-mile (13-kilometer) trail that leads to the tribal village of Supai. Heavy rain wiped out the switchbacks and left behind large boulders, Tribal Council member Carletta Tilousi said.
Tourists can reach the reservation only by foot, mule or helicopter. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people visit annually.
The tribe has spent the past few weeks cleaning up with the help of neighboring tribes and volunteers, Tilousi said.