Woman at Lake Powell loses arm when houseboat overturns in storm

A Coconino County Sheriff's deputy took this photo of a boat that sank as a result of a microburst storm that hit Lake Powell. The storm also overturned two houseboats and injured multiple people, Lake Powell, Utah, Sept. 14, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A woman lost her arm, and several people were injured Thursday afternoon when high winds and heavy rains wreaked havoc across Lake Powell.

Shortly before 1 p.m., a microburst storm was reported at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area that overturned houseboats, National Park Service spokeswoman Mary Plumb told media outlets.

A microburst storm tore through Page, Arizona, and Lake Powell, overturning two houseboats, injuring multiple people and damaging property, as shown at this hanger at Page Municipal Airport, Page, Arizona, Sept. 14, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Mike Reilley KXAZ via the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

According to the National Weather Service, “A microburst is a localized column of sinking air (downdraft) within a thunderstorm and is usually less than or equal to 2.5 miles in diameter. Microbursts can cause extensive damage at the surface, and in some instances, can be life-threatening.”

Winds from the microburst exceeded 58 mph, Plumb said, and overturned a houseboat carrying 14 people.

A 60-year-old woman who had been on the houseboat at the time had her arm amputated, though whether that happened during the incident or at a hospital later is unclear.

Another woman, 57, on the houseboat received head and hip injuries.

“There have been multiple injuries reported, two reports of overturned houseboats and dozens of swamped and sinking powerboats and jet skis,” the Coconino County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook Thursday.

The storm also caused property damage to parts of the nearby city of Page, Arizona.

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Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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