A five-year-old boy swept away by floodwater. As severe weather ravages the state, more than 35,000 people have lost power, and 14 people have died in the last ten days.
Two people were killed by falling trees on Monday, bringing the total number of storm-related deaths to 14 according to state officials.
The boy’s shoe was found after a seven-hour search that was called off by authorities because the water level was too high for divers.
According to Tony Cipolla of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, the child has not been deemed dead.
According to officials, the truck the boy’s mother was driving became stuck in floodwaters near Paso Robles, a small city inland from the central coast of California.
They stated that bystanders were able to free the mother from the truck, but the boy was swept downstream, probably into a river, from the vehicle. At the time, there was no evacuation order in the area.
The decision to evacuate was made “based on the continuing high rate of rainfall with no indication that that is going to change before nightfall,” according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
According to Melodye Serino, the deputy county administrative officer, approximately 32,000 people in Santa Cruz County who lived near rivers and creeks that were rising rapidly received evacuation orders as well.
It comes as a series of powerful storms continue to batter California, knocking out power to thousands of people, causing trees to fall, and forcing schools to close.
A social media video showed a neighborhood flooded with muddy water rushing up to a stop sign after the San Lorenzo River was declared to be at flood stage.
Roads have been obstructed by mudslides in mountainous regions, and authorities are advising residents to remain inside.
The storms forced several school districts in northern California to close.