5-Year-Old Boy Swept Away by Floodwaters in California

Search operations are resuming Wednesday along California’s central coast, as rescuers continue to look for a missing boy who was swept away into deadly floodwaters in the San Marcos Creek, near San Miguel, earlier this week. 

Locating the child, identified by local law enforcement as 5-year-old Kyle Doan, remains a “top priority,” authorities said, despite the tumultuous weather conditions that have killed at least 17 people across the state and forced rescue teams to temporarily suspend their search for Doan on Monday and Tuesday.

“The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue operations continue to look for missing 5-year-old Kyle Doan. While he has yet to be located, the search remains our top priority while weather conditions permit,” the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet shared 4:00 p.m. local time Tuesday. “We will update the public with any info regarding this search.”

Their search concluded before 5:20 p.m. “due to low visibility,” the office wrote in another tweet, adding that the search would resume “first thing tomorrow morning.”

Doan was pulled from his parents’ car on Monday when it became inundated with what the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff called “raging” floodwater in a news release. The preliminary search lasted for about five hours that first day before it was discontinued “because the extreme weather conditions were making it unsafe for first responders to continue their efforts,” the sheriff said.

Cal Fire San Luis Obispo County Battalion Chief Travis Craig told the San Luis Obispo Tribune that Doan and his mother were inside a vehicle that was immobilized in rapidly rising waters near the creek during Monday’s flood. Rescuers reportedly found the child’s shoe before their search was called off for the first time, according to the Associated Press.

Doan has short, dirty blond hair and hazel eyes, stands at 4 feet tall and weighs 52 pounds, authorities have said. He was last seen wearing a black puffer jacket with a red liner, blue jeans, and blue and gray Nike tennis shoes. The sheriff’s office in San Luis Obispo said it is pouring all of its available resources, including underwater rescue teams and air operations, into the search for Doan.

“The public is strongly cautioned not to conduct self-initiated searches and put themselves in harms way and become a victim requiring resources that would otherwise be used for searching,” the sheriff said on Tuesday.

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