Arizona August 24, 2015
The 5 Most Horrifying Disasters That Ever Happened In Arizona
Arizonans are lucky to live in a rather disaster-free state; aside from a looming water crisis, we don’t have to constantly worry about earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes on a regular basis. Even if a zombie outbreak happened, they probably wouldn’t last long walking through the desert in search of a brain for dinner. However, disasters of all kinds are still prone to happen and plenty of catastrophic one’s have. Here’s a look at five of them.
1. Grand Canyon Collision (1956)
At 10:30AM, two planes from United Airlines and Trans World Airlines collided in the airspace over the Grand Canyon, killing all 128 people in both planes. There were no witnesses and the crash was found later in the day by a small airline tour company. A mass funeral was held 9 days later in Flagstaff where the victims were buried.
Since it was the deadliest plane crash to occur in the U.S. at the time, it led to sweeping changes in regulation of airspace and modernized air traffic control.
2. Earthquake near Fredonia (1959)
This was the largest reported earthquake in Arizona with a magnitude 5.6 near Fredonia. Evidently, the quake was strong enough to shake merchandise off shelves, break windows, and may have also been the cause of a rock slide at the Grand Canyon. Thankfully, there were no reported deaths from the earthquake. (Pictured is a seismograph recording the earth’s movement.)
3. Tropical Storm Norma (1970)
During the Labor Day weekend in 1970, a severe tropical storm raged along the Pacific Coast. Like most tropical storms, it came into Arizona and many areas reported at least 7 inches of rain. It also produced a significant number of flash floods, including one at Tonto Creek that killed 14 people. Overall, 23 people across the state died from flash floods and it's the deadliest known storm to happen in the state.
4. Wallow Fire (2011)
The largest recorded wildfire in the state, it ripped through approximately 840 square miles of land in eastern Arizona; all this from a campfire. Not sure you can imagine 840 square miles? Check out the visual below.
Just imagine that almost the entire Phoenix-metro area is ablaze.
The fire took 41 days to be contained, destroyed 72 buildings, and resulted in 16 injuries.
5. Yarnell Hill Fire (2013)
After lightning hit the already drought-plagued area near Yarnell, it quickly grew to 13 square miles in size and spread unpredictably. At one point, 600 firefighters were sent to control the fire.
Unfortunately, the fire became notorious after it killed 19 firefighters, which made it one of the deadliest wildfires in our history.
What other disasters have you seen happen, whether here in Arizona or in other states? Let us know in the comments.