California authorities will resume their search for a 5-year-old boy who went missing near San Miguel earlier this week, saying it was a “top priority” for search and rescue teams.
Kyle Doan, a 5-year-old kindergarten student at Lillian Larsen Elementary School in San Miguel, was separated from his family on Monday, Jan. 9, after he was swept away by raging floodwaters in Central California following days of torrential rainfall causing catastrophic flooding.
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said an effort to locate him will resume “first thing” Wednesday morning.
“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. We will update the public with any info regarding this search,” the sheriff’s office said Tuesday.
Search and rescue teams attempted to locate the 5-year-old on Monday but called off their search at approximately 3 p.m. citing rising levels of the Salinas River.
“The search operations had to be discontinued yesterday after approximately five hours because the extreme weather conditions were making it unsafe for first responders to continue their efforts,” said Tony Cipolla of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office in a statement Tuesday.
He added: “A break in the intense storms is allowing today’s search which will involve all available resources of the Sheriff’s Office including the USAR (Underwater Search and Rescue) Team and air operations.”
Another search resumed Tuesday but was also discontinued to dangerous conditions.
“The conditions, however, remain extremely dangerous. The water level is high and continues to be fast moving,” Cipolla said Tuesday morning.
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office has cautioned members of the public not to conduct their own searches.
“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,” he added.
Kyle is described as having short dirty blond hair and hazel eyes. He is approximately four feet tall and weighs 52 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black puffer jacket with a red liner, blue jeans, blue and gray Nike tennis shoes, the sheriff’s office said.
He has not been declared dead.
“We always have hope, and we never want to take that hope away from the parents of the child either,” Cipolla told Fox News Digital.
The superintendent of the San Miguel Joint Union School District told The Tribune newspaper they were “hoping for a miracle.”
“Our staff is heartbroken over this tragedy,” Superintendent Karen Grandoli said Monday night. “I guess we’re still hoping for a miracle, but it doesn’t look good.”
The boy went missing Monday morning after a truck his mother was driving became stranded in floodwaters just before 8 a.m. near Paso Robles, according to Tom Swanson, assistant chief of the Cal Fire/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department.
Bystanders helped pull the mother from the truck, but the boy was carried out of the vehicle and swept downstream by the floodwaters, Swanson told the Associated Press.
The flooding in California has left at least 17 people dead, and more than 200,000 homes and businesses without power. Thousands of Californian residents remain under flood warnings.
Fox News’ Greg Norman and Sarah Rumpf contributed to this report.