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Two rescued from storm water


Special to The Hays Daily News

Special to The Hays Daily News

At 1:33 p.m. Monday, the city of Hays Fire Department, Hays Police Department and Ellis County EMS were dispatched to a report of two children swept by stormwater into the Lincoln Draw drainage tunnel.

Responders deployed at both the entrance to the tunnel at 19th Street to confirm the report and the outlet just north of the bridge at Eighth Street. Fire crews set up both a primary rescue team at the outlet and a secondary team at the Eighth Street bridge to rescue the children from the swiftly moving water as they left the tunnel.

At 1:47 p.m., a 10-year-old child was rescued in good condition by Hays firefighters. The child was cared for and transported to Hays Medical Center by Ellis County EMS.

A 14-year-old child was not immediately located, and a search effort was conducted manhole by manhole — as well as downstream near Big Creek. The Ellis County Sheriff's Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, city of Hays Public Works and Utilities staff assisted in the effort. Police officers located the second child at her home. She had self-rescued by climbing out of a storm drain connected to the tunnel. The child  also was transported to HayMed by Ellis County EMS as a precaution.

The city of Hays firefighters and police encourages all parents to discuss the near tragedy with their children and impress on them the dangers of playing in stormwater drainage features. People can be swept off their feet by swiftly moving water as little as 6 inches deep. Being swept into a storm drain by fast moving water can occur with no warning.