Search for man in the Kern River continues

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The search continues for a man, who vanished in the Kern River Saturday night. The sheriff's department said he was on a raft, went under, just east of Hart Park and didn't come up. Deputies said he parked in a dirt lot by the soccer field, between Hart Park and Lake Ming, walked north to the river and got in there.

Air crews continued the search today for the man believed to be in his 60s. It has been nearly 48 hours since he reported missing and there's still no sign of him. 

The Department of Water Resources reports statewide snow pack is 185% of normal. With that, warm temperatures are melting that snow combined with increased precipitation this year -- creating higher levels in Isabella Lake and higher volume in the Kern River. The river is flowing at about 4,000 cubic feet per second -- ten times stronger than this time last year. 

Experts said increased volume along with debris in the river is a dangerous combination. 

Ground crews will rejoin the search here Tuesday if necessary. KCSO said it expects this to be a busy year with an increased call volume. There have been 50 search and rescue call outs so far this year. 


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