A 5-year-old Florida boy survived being sucked into a drain pipe Thursday and carried several hundred yards to a nearby river.
The boy, who was not identified by police, was playing with other children in a ditch filled with water Thursday afternoon in Fort Myers, Fla., when he was suddenly pulled into the drain pipe.
“It was just completely covered with water and there was a tiny whirlpool,” neighbor Sidney Oakes-Lottridge said of the ditch. “You would never be able to tell there was a drainage pipe under it.”
One of the two other children playing in the ditch with the boy ran inside to tell adults who then ran into the ditch to look for him, according to authorities.
“They started running down and tracing the drain line down to the river,” said Fort Myers Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Bevan. “That’s when they heard the kid screaming and he was trying to climb out of the river himself.”
The boy, according to Bevan, was only in the drain pipe for a few minutes before being dumped into the Caloosahatchee River. He was rescued from the river by the adults and first responders looking for him.
“We saw the little kid. He was being put on the stretcher and you could tell his back was just beat up and he was just crying,” said Oakes-Lottridge.
The boy was taken to a local hospital and is expected to be fine, according to authorities.
“It turned out to be a really lucky day for this child,” said Bevan.
Further north, in Georgia, flash floods were so severe that two camp counselors found themselves stranded when their car was washed downstream while they tried to cross a small stream. The two counselors were unharmed and were pulled ashore by a water rescue team.
Another road nearby was completely washed out by the floods, leaving residents stranded on the other side.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.