A 5-year-old boy has been swept away after the Santa Cruz Region of California was battered by storms and floods on the state’s central coast.
Residents of the entire seaside community where the homes of Prince Harry, Oprah Winfrey, and other celebrities were ordered to evacuate following the floods and mudslides.
The flood has caused the cut of power to tens of thousands of residents, while schools have been forced to shut down as the roads are taken over by the floods and debris from trees fallen on the street. Streets and highways transformed into gushing rivers and mudslides.
According to reports from state officials, about 14 people have lost their lives after two people were killed by falling trees.
A seven-hour search for the missing boy only saw the shoe as authorities prevented divers to continue searching for the boy because the water levels were too dangerous. Spokesperson Tony Cipolla of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office says the little boy has not yet been declared dead until further notice.
According to Tom Swanson, assistant chief of the Cal Fire/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department the mother of the missing boy was driving in the early hours of 8 am when they became stranded in floodwaters.
Bystanders were able to pull the truck, saving the mother but the little boy was swept away and downstream, likely into a river, Swanson said.