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Terrifying Lake Powell rockslide sends boaters fleeing, and it was captured on video

Published Jun 3rd, 2022 8:45PM EDT
rockslides in Lake Powell help the canyon widen
Image: jon manjeot / Adobe

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Tourists out on a boat caught a terrifying rockslide in Lake Powell on video. In the video, rock on the side of the reservoir comes sliding off, toppling into the water. It leaves behind a massive plume of dust, and many believe the wave it created was powerful enough to capsize smaller watercraft.

Tourists captured video of a rockslide in Lake Powell

The video of the rockslide in Lake Powell was captured by Mila Carter and her husband Steve Carter. The couple was boating on Lake Powell when they noticed the start of the rock’s collapse. They quickly began recording to document the incident.

In the video, we see a large portion of the cliff detached from the rest. AccuWeather notes that the cliff was more exposed to the elements due to persistent drought in the area. That drought has brought the lake’s water level to its lowest point ever. As such, the rock has become weakened after being exposed to the elements for so long.

The rockslide sent dust and debris pluming into the air and water. Mile told 2News that her husband sped their boat away from the rockslide in Lake Powell once the rocks started to hit the boat. Mila also noted that the wave was big enough to have swallowed their boat, jet skiers, or any kayakers in its way.

Thankfully nobody was injured by the rockslide. Mila says that it was even more terrifying and impressive than it looks in the video.

Not a rare occurrence

rockslides in Lake Powell help the canyon widen
Geologists say rockslides are a natural occurrence in the Glen Canyon area where Lake Powell is located. Image source: joel / Adobe

While catching a rockslide in Lake Powell on video might be rare, the rockslides are pretty common all around the world, geologists say. The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area sees rockfalls often as it is a natural widening process for the canyon. As such, the event is pretty common, especially in very rocky areas.

However, the ongoing drought in that area could have exposed the falling rock to elements it doesn’t normally experience. Which, some say, could have increased the likelihood of it eroding and breaking off.

Ultimately, the rockslide in Lake Powell might not be a rare occurrence, but it is a stark reminder. A reminder that nature, though we try to control it at times, can be unforgiving. Thankfully, the rockslide didn’t hurt anybody. It very well could have, though.

If you’re spending time out on the water or around rocky areas this summer, keep an eye out for any signs of falling rocks and stay safe.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.