N.J. Boy Scouts rescued from Grand Canyon

? Boy Scouts from Essex County were rescued from the Grand Canyon Sunday following a dam failure.

The scouts and their leaders were backpacking and rafting near the Grand Canyon when an earthen dam failed, releasing floodwaters in the area. Six boys and three adults from troop 21 were among nearly 200 people rescued after heavy rains caused flooding along two creeks that flow into the Colorado River.

The troop was airlifted to safety and taken to a Red Cross shelter. Family members are arranging for their return home. Communications have been difficult due to a lack of cell phone service and limited access to land lines.

The trip was only halfway completed when flash flood warnings came through. Troop 21 had spent an entire year planning the trip. The group lost thousands of dollars worth of camping equipment, but families say they?re just relieved their loved ones didn?t lose their lives.

?I heard my mom gasp on the phone and I was so scared,? Kristi Morey says. ?I thought he was dead.? Morey?s brother Ryan was one of the scouts who was rescued.

The troops are expected to return home Tuesday or Wednesday.

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