Saturday afternoon, Clarkdale Police responded to a reported drowning in the Verde River between the Tapco and Tuzigoot RAPs. Officials say the female victim in her early 40’s was floating the river with three companions when they reportedly became separated. A short time later the victim’s paddle board was discovered lodged against a tree, in high water. The victim was connected to the board and submerged under water. She was removed from the water by a companion and CPR was performed. Medical personnel arrived on scene and transported her to Verde Valley Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. The victim was wearing a personal protective device. The victim’s identity is being withheld pending next of kin notification. The public is discouraged from floating the river during high and swift water.
From Nancy McCleskey via FB: this is a 3 mile only stretch of water that had an old dam that Freeport Mac Moran put in in the 40s on it. That dam got breached last spring during the floods, so it was no longer needs to be portaged.. Other than that there’s a road that goes along it pretty much the whole way in a railroad track as well. There are some strainers in that section and at low water a bunch of chutes that you kind of have to hit or you end up on the rocks. The companies that take kids down there take school kids as part of their outdoor education program. It is considered a class 2 run.
Most people run it between 80 CFS and 250 CFS. Whenever the Verde gets cranking and anything over 1000 you can I need to have some river experience to have a safe trip. It gets pushy and the eddies are not as easy to get in.