Lenore man presumed drowned in Laurel Creek

By Kyle Lovern klovern@civitasmedia.com

August 26, 2014

LENORE – Swift water rescue teams and volunteer firemen on Monday were still searching for the body of a Lenore man who is presumed to have drowned in Laurel Creek on Saturday evening.

After flood waters rushed through Mingo County Friday night, banks overflowed in many local areas. On Sunday, more than 70 first responders and the Lenore community helped search for the victim of what is now considered a recovery effort.

The Lenore resident, said to be in his early 40s, apparently was riding his ATV near the creek behind his house when it slipped into the raging water.

The site is close to where Laurel Creek flows into Pigeon Creek near Cheech’s Restaurant at Lenore.

Crews were able to pull the four-wheeler out of the water, but the victim couldn’t be found.

Lenore Fire Chief Jeff Farris said the call came in about 8 p.m. on Saturday night. It is thought that the man went into the water around 7:30 p.m.

Swift water rescue crews from Lenore, Kermit and Boone County resumed their search on Monday morning.

Several crews spent Saturday night and all day Sunday searching for the Mingo County man they believe drowned. On Sunday teams from neighboring Logan County, as well as Kanawha County helped with the search.

“We’ll continue the search until we find him,” Farris said Monday morning. “The water is about three feet lower than it was on Sunday.”

Search crews said they believe the man’s body is probably snagged on some brush or trees, possibly near one of the bridges that traverse the creeks.

As the search continues, many family members and friends in the tight-knit community are praying emergency rescuers can find the body sooner than later.