Iowa responders pull boy from flood waters

He got trapped at an intake drain and was "hanging on for dear life" as his older sister held him until responders arrived

By Jeff Reinitz
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

WATERLOO, Iowa — Authorities are cautioning residents to stay clear of flood waters after a boy was caught at the mouth of a drainage culvert Thursday night.

Crews with Waterloo Fire Rescue pulled the 8-year-old boy to safety after he became trapped in the suction at Bontrager Park off West Ninth Street.

"He was hanging on for dear life," said Capt. Bill Harter.

The incident happened shortly before 7 p.m. where water collected in a low point of the park and was draining into Dry Run Creek. The boy became trapped at an intake drain and his older sister held him until firefighters arrived, according to police.

Fire crews wearing life vests stood at the top of the culvert and pulled until he was freed, Harter said.

"They had a hard time pulling him out because of the suction," Harter said.

Paramedics briefly examined the boy at the scene, and he was released to family members.

The father identified the boy as Charlie Cizek and his sister as Caly, age 10.

The drain passes underground for a short distance before emerging at the creek. With torrential rains, Bontrager and Liberty Park, located downstream, have become flooded. At Liberty Park, the creek again enters underground drains before emptying in the Cedar River downtown.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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