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Search of missing person at Buck's Pocket State Park resumes

Authorities tell us a car drove into floodwaters at the park near the Jackson- Dekalb County line and the search had to be suspended twice due to weather conditions.

Posted: Feb 8, 2020 5:22 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2020 6:40 PM

This evening marks the fourth day agencies across North Alabama are searching for a person who went missing at Buck's Pocket State Park on Wednesday.

Authorities tell us a car drove into floodwaters at the park near the Jackson- Dekalb County line and the search had to be suspended twice due to weather conditions.

The search resumed at noon on Saturday.

At Buck's Pocket State Park, these barricades and signs are blocking the entrances to the search area. State troopers say they are using helicopters that you can hear right now, they are also using magnetic equipment and divers to help search for this missing person."

"I was coming home and there was a lot of flashing red and blue lights down in front of the Buck's Pocket State Park sign," said Jackson County resident, Caleb Hilley

Caleb Hilley and his father, Terry Hilley, weren't surprised when they heard authorities said someone drove into flood waters at Buck's Pocket State Park on Wednesday.

"That water, once it's going across the bridge, if you just barely get into it, you're pretty much off the bridge," said Caleb Hilley.

"That water is moving fast and it's just dangerous," said Terry Hilley.

Now rescue squads from all over North Alabama are searching for the missing person and vehicle.

"You can't call for help. Unless there's somebody down there who sees you in trouble, that's the only way you're going to get out of there," said Terry Hilley.

The Hilley family tells me they've seen several people over the years go missing at the park and they know when it's too dangerous to go.

"You see the water over the bridge, turn around and go back. Because it isn't worth it," said Terry Hilley.

State troopers tell WAAY 31 they are now using helicopters, magnetic equipment, divers and advanced cameras in the search effort.

Neighbors say they wish they could help.

"To me it's just sad and there's nothing really you can do," said Terry Hilley.

The Hilley family says they want people to learn from this incident.

"I see the sign. It says 'do not cross when water is over bridge,' and it's there for a good reason," said Caleb Hilley.

"Some family is going to be missing a loved one, so I just hope that they find them," said Terry Hilley.

The Jackson County Emergency Management Agency says they are monitoring the forecasted weather for next week and if weather conditions become too dangerous for rescue squads, they will suspend the search again.

Officials say they are putting together a two-week schedule of volunteers and state park workers to help with the search efforts.

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