In Utah, on a family Mother’s Day trek, two little sisters died on a canyon trail during a flash flood in a narrow gorge near Goblin Valley State Park. It is reported by SUN. Police reported that girls aged three and seven were washed away by a stream of water and flew through the valley “like in a washing machine,” when a thunderstorm turned a dry desert into a raging stream.
The family stayed in San Rafael for Mother’s Day, and on Monday they went hiking in the popular Canyon of Wild Horses. Sisters 7-year-old Kinzley and 3-year-old Ellie Graff were walking with Mum and Dad when the flood suddenly filled the canyon on Monday.
The water and mud streams washed the family away for 3 miles, carrying them through narrow rock formations. “It’s like putting them in a washing machine,” said Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk. Tim Graff, the girls’ father, saw water flowing from the canyon mouth, carrying the body of his 7-year-old daughter. He tried to make the girl CPR, but couldn’t bring her back to life, reports Deseret News. 80 people joined in the search for the 3-year-old girl after a piece of her clothes was found seven miles downstream. Her body was found from a helicopter on Tuesday almost 30 miles off the coast of Muddy Creek near Hanksville. Designed by one of the girls’ mother’s colleagues, Becky Graff, GoFundMe hopes to receive $50,000 in donations to help cover “funeral services, medical bills, household bills and ongoing support when Tim and Becky survive this tragedy. Authorities said at least 21 tourists trapped by the canyon flood have escaped safely. The canyon trails, popular for their colorful rock formations, are so narrow in places that travelers have to turn sideways to squeeze between the rocks. Survivors told how the slopes of the canyon turned into waterfalls after a storm of rain and hail.
One of the surviving tourists told us about what he had gone through that day in the canyon. “My first adventure in the canyon was a complete immersion in what park keepers call the “flash flood of the decade”. We had to take cover and look for higher positions because of a strong storm that suddenly moved into the area. We were trapped just above the narrow slots. It was very scary when the dry channel of the stream quickly filled with the rapid flow of muddy water. The walls of the canyon turned into waterfalls, large hailstones flew, and rocks rolled. After almost an hour, the rain stopped, and we determined that the water level had dropped enough to make it safely through the holes below. The names of the dead sisters were kept confidential, but friends ribbed their house in the West Jordan and hung a sign on the family garage that said, “We love you. Neighbors said the girls’ parents were experienced travelers who loved camping and outdoor activities. “Our hearts are broken by this family’s grief,” said neighbor Angie White in an interview with Fox13 Salt Lake City. – The 7-year-old girl used to ride her bike a lot and always stopped to welcome us. The 3-year-old looked like her big sister, imitated her in everything and repeated everything she said.
We extend our deepest condolences to the family who lost two of their daughters in the flash flood,” said Utah Governor Gary Herbert. – Utah is grieving with her family and praying for them at this heartbreaking time.