UPDATE Thursday 7:34 a.m. : Search efforts continue today for a three-year-old boy who went missing after a vehicle was swept into the water amid severe flooding in the area Wednesday morning, the Ontario Provincial Police say.
Dufferin County OPP say Helicopters and ground crews will search the Waldemar area before heading south towards Belwood lake.
Constable Paul Nancekivell says the mother of the boy has been released from hospital and has returned home to her family.
Water rescue teams are searching the Grand River near Orangeville, Ont., for a three-year-old boy who went missing after a vehicle was swept into the water amid severe flooding in the area Wednesday morning, the Ontario Provincial Police say.
Emergency crews originally responded to the single-vehicle crash site near County Road 109 close to the village of Waledmar around 1 a.m., where they found a minivan had driven through a flooded roadway.
Water Rescue teams from Centre Wellington Fire’s Fergus and Elora detachments were called to assist.
Const. Paul Nancekivell, spokesman for OPP’s Dufferin Detachment, told Global News that the van was driving southbound down tenth line and failed to stop at the road closure that had been in place. Nancekivell said the female driver drove into heavy water and when she tried to back up, the van was swept into the Grand River.
Nancekivell said the woman – the boy’s mother- was able to pull him from the car after it went into river, but she lost her grip and the boy was swept downstream.
The woman managed to get herself out and onto the side of the river but Nancekivell said the van traveled four miles downriver and got stuck in silt.
Officials said they have divers, a helicopter and ground personnel searching for the boy.
Grand Valley District Fire Chief Kevin McNeilly said the search is now considered a recovery operation rather than a rescue effort.
Nancekivell said the woman, who lives in the area, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment of hypothermia.
It is unclear at this time why the woman drove through the road closures.
Emergency Crews battled with fast-moving waters and ice flows as the entire Grand River Watershed was placed under a flood warning earlier this week.
County Road 109 was closed from County Road 25 to Trafalgar Road due to the investigation.
Days of mild temperatures and heavy rains have caused an ice jam in the Grand River to break free, causing water levels to rise.
Nearly 100 kilometres away, the City of Brantford, Ont., declared a state of emergency and evacuated people from homes and businesses in certain neighbourhoods due to the Grand River flooding.
The search has been suspended till first light Thursday.
—With files from The Canadian Press