A 5-year-old boy in California slipped away from his mother earlier this week and remains missing as storms continue to hit the state.
Lindsy Doan, the mother of 5-year-old Kyle Doan, was driving the boy to school on Monday when she lost control of her vehicle in flowing water. She abandoned the car, hugging a tree as she held her son’s hand before a current swept him away.
Search efforts are ongoing this week, and approximately 200 volunteers and other officials have searched San Marcos Creek near Paso Robles, located about 30 miles north of San Luis Obispo.
Here’s what you need to know about the missing boy and search efforts in the state.
‘Mom, it’s OK:’ Boy slips from his mother’s arms in California waters
Doan told the Associated Press that she didn’t think the water flowing over a creek crossing was deeper than usual as she drove Kyle to school on Monday. But the waters were flowing with more force than she expected, and her Chevy Traverse was pinned against a sycamore tree.
“Mom, it’s OK,” Kyle told her. “Just be calm.”
She was able to open her door and grip a tree, telling Kyle to leave his backpack and other belongings and climb into the front seat. Kyle’smother grabbed his hand, but waters swept him to the other side of the tree.
“I could feel his fingers slipping from mine,” she said, the Associated Press reported.
“I saw his head kind of floating and he was looking at me because he was going backwards,” she said, noting that her son can’t swim. “I was trying to keep my head above the water, but the currents kept pulling me down.
“And after a while, I didn’t see Kyle or what was going on,” she said.
What search efforts have started?
Thursday marked the fourth day of search efforts looking for the 5-year-old boy.
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday afternoon that search operations are continuing, and approximately 120 members of the California National Guard were helping with the search.
Other people searching for the boy include:
- Search and rescue and dive personnel from multiple California counties
- Six K9 teams
- Drone teams and other emergency and law enforcement officials
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that approximately 200 people are involved in the search for the boy.
Officials have only confirmed finding one of the boy’s blue and gray Nike shoes.
The California National Guard on Thursday tweeted photos of soldiers supporting the search for the 5 year old.
Are the storms in California over?
No, the wave of storms in the state is expected to continue.
A cyclone in the Pacific Ocean will direct an atmospheric river up the West Coast, forecasters say, with the heaviest rain expected from Northern California to the Pacific Northwest in the coming days.
What is an ‘atmospheric river’?:These rivers of water vapor can extend thousands of miles.
At least 18 people have died in the storms in the state since late December. Most of the deaths have been from falling trees and cars being pulled away in flooding.
Contributing: John Bacon and Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY; Associated Press
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