The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has announced the indefinite closure of Tahquitz and Indian Canyons as it assesses damage from two days of flash flooding, the tribe announced on September 5.
“The Indian Canyons are nearly unrecognizable in the condition they are in today,” Chairman Jeff Grubbe said in a statement from the tribe, whose reservation is near Palm Springs, California. “We are working diligently to assess the damage and determine the next steps to remove debris, repair damage and return the Canyons back to as close to their natural beauty as possible.”
The tribe said rangers and emergency management workers were gauging the extent of damage after heavy rains dumped fast-moving water that sent trees, boulders and mud tumbling down the canyons. The havoc damaged trails, roads and access to parts of the Indian Canyons, the statement said.
The entire Coachella Valley was under flash flood watch on Friday September 6 as more stormy weather loomed, the Desert Sun newspaper reported.
It’s the second time this year the canyons have been closed. In July, 6,000 acres on the tribe’s reservation were scorched by the Mountain Fire, cutting off access to the canyons temporarily.
Damage from that fire, which burned in the San Jacinto Mountains just north of Palm Springs, paved the way for flood damage throughout the valley that shut down several roads during the week, the Desert Sun said.