WATCH: Arizona Climbers Narrowly Dodge Extreme Flash Flooding in Sedona

by Craig Garrett
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Several adventurous climbers in Sedona, Arizona barely managed to complete their climb before a raging flash flood came upon them. An avid outdoorsman that goes by the handle Jerry Arizona shared the action on his Youtube channel.

In the video, you see a series of people repel down an impressive overhanging rock landscape. Off camera, you can hear cheering as the last person repels down. It’s apparent that rough weather may be on the way by the looks of the muddy sky. However, a torrential downpour soon floods the area. Eventually, a literal waterfall flows from the rock formation the climbers were just repelling down moments before.

Jerry Arizona claims he wasn’t with the group of climbers that narrowly escaped the flash flood. Many of the comments under the video question repelling in rain. It does seem like the thrill seeker were deliberately pushing their luck. However, Jerry points out several times that the people in the video are very experienced.

Other climbers have been caught in flash floods

In 2015, a flash flood ripped through a slot canyon in Zion National Park, killing seven climbers, reported USA Today. For two days, search crews combed the flood-ravaged waterways downstream of Keyhole Canyon, one of the most popular slot canyons on the park’s east side that was rained on by a violent thunderstorm.

According to a park service news release, the climbers were Mark MacKenzie, 56, of Valencia, Calif.; Linda Arthur, 57, and Steve Arthur, 58, of Camarillo, Calif.; Gary Favela, 51, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Don Teichner, 55, of Mesquite, Nev.; Muku Reynolds, 59, of Chino, Calif.; and Robin Brum, 53, of Camarillo, Calif.

The downpour over the park totaled more than six-tenths of an inch in less than sixty minutes. The flash flood caused one of the Virgin River’s tributaries to surge from 50 cubic feet per second to 2500 feet per second within fifteen minutes. Such a 100-year storm is classified as an event that is only expected to occur, on average, once every century. The seven-person expedition was still in Keyhole Canyon, a deep, narrow slot canyon popular for canyoneering that required rope descents and swimming across deep water.

Park Ranger Therese Picard stated that at some points inside the canyon, the walls are a mere 3 feet apart. To anyone who may become trapped during a flash flood, it would look like an overwhelming “wall of water.” Search crews toiled day and night for a week until they found the last body downstream. It was miles away from where the others had been found. It took rescuers bravely descending 100 feet into an area that had hitherto been unreachable due to bad weather and fears of more flooding.

Outsider.com