Body of hiker swept away by flooding at Utah park found

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(NewsNation) — The body of a missing hiker has been recovered after she was swept away by floodwaters in Utah last week.

Jetal Agnihotri was hiking in Zion National Park when heavy monsoonlike storms hit the popular Narrows area in the park, known for its spectacular red-rock cliffs and narrow canyons. Agnihotri went missing Friday when she and other hikers were swept off their feet by the floodwaters.

Agnihotri’s body was found in the Virgin River on Monday, officials said.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the friends and family of Jetal Agnihotri,” Zion National Park superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said in a statement.

Jason Marsteiner, a wilderness survival expert, said the sheer cliffs in the Narrows area of the park make it virtually impossible to survive a flash flood.

“That water is rushing at a high rate of speed and there’s a lot of debris in that water,” he said. “You got logs. You got rocks. You got mud and sand. It’s hard to stay out of harms way.”

Zion includes data such as flash flood warnings and river flow rates online, but the novice touristcan easily be tricked by blue skies.

Josh Schmidt, with the Yavapai County Sherriff’s Office search and rescue team, said a storm 20 or 30 miles away could send tons of water downstream.

“That water has to go somewhere,” he said. “When this wall of water hits us, it’s kind of a do-or-die moment. There’s not a lot of room for forgiveness.”

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