Jetal Agnihotri, swept away by flash floods in Zion National Park, was found dead The 29-year-old woman was found about 6 miles south of where she has swept away after a four-day search.
An Arizona woman died after being swept away in a flash flood at Zion National Park in Utah.
jetal Agnihotri, 29, of Tucson, Arizona, was found Monday about 9.6 kilometers south of where she was swept away by floodwaters. This ended a four-day search, the park service said in a news release Tuesday.
Her death is the latest example of how dangerous it is to hike in the park’s narrow red rock canyons in southern Utah during the monsoon season.
What Has Happened To Jetal Agnihotri? Cause Of Death Revealed
In the past, such floods have caused building-high walls of water that have swept away cars, rolled boulders, and knocked down trees. In September 2015, a similar storm killed seven people in the park and 12 people in a nearby town.
Agnihotri and his friends were hiking through the Narrows, a well-known slot canyon when they were swept down the Virgin River by a flash flood. Agnihotri failed to make it to safety with the rest of the group. Rangers then embarked on a search effort that involved swift-water rescuers, search dogs, and more than 170 emergency personnel, according to the National Park Service.
Both the National Weather Service and Washington County, Utah, had issued flood warnings for the area that day. Agnihotri’s brother told local television station KSL-TV that she had been unable to swim.
Some slot canyons in Zion National Park are as narrow as windows and drop hundreds of feet. They are among the most beautiful and popular destinations in the area.
But this year and in the past, floods can turn canyons, smooth rocks, and normally dry washes into deadly channels of fast-flowing water and debris in a matter of minutes. During the rains that washed Agnihotri downstream, the amount of water in the Virgin River increased by as much as 31,149 gallons, according to the National Park Service.
Zion National Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said, “Our deepest sympathies go out to the friends and family.”
The report said Zion National Park is one of the most visited parks in the United States, although it is often dangerous and the National Weather Service issues flood warnings for it.
Flooding can be dangerous for experienced hikers and climbers as well as the many newcomers who have come to the park since the pandemic created a boom in outdoor activities.
Although people are warned, flash floods often leave them stuck in the park’s slot canyons, which are as narrow as windows in some places and drop hundreds of feet.