The body of a man who was swept away in the flooding was recovered Thursday morning in Stephens County.
Because of how high the water was Wednesday night and how it was moving, the search had to be suspended until Thursday morning. After the searched resumed, it took about an hour and 15 minutes to find the body of Faron Morgan, 58, who had been swept away while checking his land on an ATV Wednesday night.
There had been heavy rains in the area Morgan was driving on his ATV.
“We are on Dr. Pepper Road right now and the area that you see was completely flooded like a lake last night from those heavy rains,” Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney said. “The individual was washed off the road and was washed out into the pasture with the four-wheeler. We did a search last night. The water was moving so fast and it was so dark, but this morning we saw the water receed we were able to send search teams and retrieve the victim.”
About 35 people helped in the search for Morgan from six agencies along with volunteers.
“We had an IC, incident command center, set up on Highway 53,” McKinney said. “What we do is we take a map and coordinate it off into sections, assign those sections to search teams that thoroughly covers that area before it reports back to the command post.”
Flooding like this is common near country roads and creeks after heavy rain.
“That is what is happening now. With them being under the water and the water flowing over them,” Stephens County Emergency Management Director Gary Curtis said. “It’s taking the top off and getting into the base and what that is done there is nothing there but soft. They are going to be stuck if they drive in the water there is nothing there already and it will wash them right off. We have a lot of creeks, most counties do and that’s what you have to be careful of when you are out on the country roads.”
Flood waters can be significantly stronger than they appear to be from the surface
“That is why we tell them to never drive into water unless they are sure and never drive into water that is four to six inches deep,” Curtis said. “That is just enough to move a vehicle off the road if it’s flowing hard. What you see on top is not near what the undercurrent is doing and that is where we get a lot of drownings.”
With how much flooding there has been, Curtis said they are lucky there have not been more tragedies like this one and hopes there won’t be anymore.
McKinney asked people to pay even more attention to the water on roads during this time of the year especially after heavy rains and if you can stay home to not drive at all.