Supai, Arizona

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Supai (Havasupai: Havasuuw) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Coconino County, Arizona, United States, within the Grand Canyon.

As of the 1990 census, the CDP had a population of 423; the 2000 census erroneously recorded a population of 0.[1] The capital of the Havasupai Indian Reservation, Supai is currently one of only two places in the United States where mail is still carried out by mules, the other being Phantom Ranch in the Grand Canyon.[2]

It is also the most remote community in the lower 48 states, and the only way to get to it is to take a helicopter or to hike or ride a mule along the Havasupai Trail. Supai is eight miles (13 km) from the nearest road. There are no cars in the community.[2]

Contents

Recent history

Tourists and some residents were evacuated from Supai and surrounding area on 17 and 18 August 2008[3] due to flooding complicated by the failure of the earthen Redlands Dam after a night of heavy rainfall. Evacuees were taken to Peach Springs, Arizona.[4] More heavy rains were expected and a flash flood warning was put into effect, necessitating the evacuation, according to the Grand Canyon National Park Service.[5] The floods were significant enough to attract coverage from international media.[4][6]

Damage to the trails, bridges, and campground was severe enough for Havasupai to close visitor access to the village, campground, and falls until the spring of 2009.[7]

Geography

Being located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Supai is only accessible by foot, pack animal or helicopter. Mail and package delivery to the community is thus delayed; delivery time for mail from Bullhead City, Arizona, via the United States Postal Service is at least a week because it is carried out by mule (D. Varty, personal communication, 2004).[8]

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