Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Rescuers Search for Iowa Teen Swept Away into Storm Drain During Storm

Severe Weather Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Rescue crews searched Tuesday for a teenager who was swept away in a Cedar Rapids storm drain after heavy rainfall overwhelmed the eastern Iowa city's storm sewer system.

Logan Blake, 17, was swept away by the fast-moving water in the drain at an elementary school around 7:20 p.m. Monday, said city public safety communications coordinator Greg Buelow. He did not explain how the teenager ended up in the drain.

Early Tuesday, Cedar Rapids Fire Department Battalion Chief Brian Gibson said Tuesday that he still considered the operation a rescue mission. The storm sewer drains into Cedar Lake, and fire department crews were using sonar and boats to search the body of water. Police officers searched along the path of the pipe by foot.

Blake's father, Mark Blake, told ABC news that the family was holding out hope that he would be found alive.

"He's a strong kid, a very athletic kid," he said. "He's got a strong will. We have every faith in the world that he's hooked on and waiting for the current to slow down."

David Bliss, 17, tried to save Blake but was also dragged into the drain, Buelow said. That teen traveled along the drain for more than a mile, eventually emerging in Cedar Lake. The boy walked to a hospital and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, Buelow said.

Buelow said the storm drain feeds into an underground concrete pipe about 4 1/2 feet wide at the school's culvert entrance. That pipe runs about a mile and a half southwest and is 10 feet in diameter where it empties into Cedar Lake.

Rescuers have so far been unable to enter the underground sewer system because of the dangerously fast current, but they will assess the situation as the day progresses to see if those conditions ease, Gibson said.

Crews meanwhile are using cameras to search the confined spaces, Buelow said.

Recent heavy rainfall has overwhelmed the storm sewer system in many parts of Cedar Rapids, causing water to rise in the streets and rush through neighborhoods. The sanitary sewer system also became overwhelmed and overflowed.

A band of strong storms washed across the Midwest on Monday evening. Police said a man in northern Indiana was killed when a tree fell onto a trailer home and another died when strong winds caused a building to collapse in eastern Iowa. The raging storms left hundreds of thousands of people without power across Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Associated Press video,



RELATED ARTICLES

Photos: Rescue in Collapsed Nepal Hotel

French rescue team saves survivor who was trapped in rubble for 82 hours.

Rescue and Recovery in Nepal

Death toll passes 4,000 and is expected to continue to rise as rescue teams search the ruins.

Nurse Falls From Texas Medical Helicopter

STAR Flight nurse’s death is the organization’s first on-duty death in 30-year history.

Drugs Stolen from Columbus Ambulances

Review finds broken and malfunctioning locks in 13 ambulances.

CDC Calls for Expanding Naloxone Use

Effort could reduce drug overdose deaths and save lives.

Rescue Efforts in Nepal

The latest on the devastating earthquake and the rescue response as the death toll climbs to over 3,700.

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers