12 inches of water will float your car, say emergency management leaders

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS — The search for a missing kayaker in Bartholomew County had to be suspended again Monday afternoon.

Indiana Conservation Officers and the Bartholomew County Water Rescue Team spent Sunday and Monday using boats and sonar in the area of Flat Rock River where Enrique Quinonez, 27, Kalamazoo, Mich., disappeared.

Quinonez and friend Alex Cruz were kayaking for less than 10 minutes when Quinonez’s kayak capsized.

Cruz pulled him to a tree near the river’s edge, but Quinonez somehow let go and disappeared into the water. A passerby heard screams for help and called 911.

Rescue efforts have consisted of boats and sonar, but it’s been too dangerous for dive teams to enter the water.

The search will resume Tuesday at 8 a.m. A plan is being developed to focus search efforts a short distance down river from where Quinonez was last seen.

Meanwhile in rural Monroe County, a family is planning the funerals for Jana Payton and her 5-year-old son. The two died Friday night after getting swept away in their vehicle by water that had flooded onto the road from the White River.

It only takes twelve inches of water to float a vehicle, said Hamilton County Emergency Management’s Tom Sivak.

“Six inches of water can actually pose a risk to anybody’s vehicle. The most dangerous thing is when you can see the other side of the intersection and say, ‘Well, we can drive through it,’ and there might not be any road underneath because it could’ve been washed out.”

“And whenever anybody drives through water and gets stuck, it has a cascading effect. When it cascades, it puts them in danger and it puts the responders in danger as well.”

Flooding is the second leading cause of weather-related fatalities in the United States, second only to heat.

An average of 90 people die each year and more than half of those deaths occur when a vehicle is swept into hazardous waters, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.