1 dead, 2 missing in Ontario after being swept away in heavy rains
(Reuters) – Two people were killed in southern Ontario after being swept away in heavy rains Saturday night when they lost their footing in a drainage ditch during a severe storm, the provincial police said.
The victims, a man and woman, were found by a passing truck driver in a rural driveway in the township of Sault Ste. Marie, on the border with Michigan and Ontario.
“Two women were found by the pickup driver in a ditch in Sault Ste. Marie at approximately 10:43 p.m. Saturday evening after a four hour search,” police said in a statement posted online Saturday night.
The driver had been driving through Sault Ste. Marie when he became stuck in the waterlogged drainage ditch, where he was rescued by police, the statement said.
Two others who were walking in the area were unharmed and managed to escape, police said. They did so by running into farmhouse and then the house, where they were evacuated by Canadian Forces troops.
“This was the result of a number of factors, including the storm, and the fact that it rained hard at times and not always in the morning and evening when the creek drains,” said Capt. Bruce Leavitt of Ontario Provincial Police.
“I do believe that these storms are not over yet,” he said.
A woman driving to work through the area was not hurt in the storm, police said.
The identities of the dead and those missing were not immediately released, and they could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
“Everyone is safe and no one was hurt,” said Sgt. Rick Lefebvre. “The search was extended throughout the night. That’s what we’ll be looking at. We were able to find where the two were found. It’s very fortunate and fortunate they were found in time.”
The victims were not involved in the mining industry, police said.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the area, which includes parts of Lake Hur