GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY, Wash. — The search for a missing Malone man has been suspended for the night hours after he was apparently swept away by floodwaters.
A Cosmopolis man also died Friday night when he, too, was swept away in the fast-moving Chehalis River.
All of this is taking a grim toll on a region already devastated by floodwaters.
The toll is being felt most by those who know and love these men.
It is especially difficult because the latest victim was trying to help a friend.
The search for the 39-year-old Malone man has been going on for hours. And even his friends say they don’t believe he will be found alive.
“At this point, it’s recovery,” said Bradley Goodman.
He says his friend, Tim Warren, was actually being a good Samaritan.
“He left the house at midnight last night to help a friend that was stuck in the water out here,” said Goodman. “And, unfortunately, it seems both of them got swept away in the water and he never made it out.”
Indeed, his vehicle is the only trace of him, on Porter Creek Road West near Elma, still surrounded by floodwaters from the Chehalis River. Goodman says the search began soon after he disappeared.
“They’ve been continually looking for him all night,” said Goodman, grimly.
The flooding that has hit the region has already been deadly in Grays Harbor County.
Delbert Pratt, 72, was swept away Friday by the rising waters. His body was found by a family member early Saturday morning about a hundred yards from his driveway in Cosmopolis.
Emergency management officials say the full extent of the damage to property won’t be known until the rivers recede.
Several streets are still closed because of too much water. Given what has happened over the last few days, officials are making this urgent plea.
“Please do not go through the road closure sign,” said Hannah Cleverly, Grays Harbor County Emergency Management deputy director. “Please just turn around. We don’t want anyone to go through flooded waters.”
No one feels that more than those who know and love Tim Warren, described by his friend as a former, longtime addict.
“He went through drug court, and got himself clean, got his license back,” said Goodman, was getting on the right path, just got his own apartment. And it’s just, it’s crazy that they’re looking for him now.”
The search has ended for the night.
A Department of Fish & Wildlife sergeant said they will be back at about 5 o’clock Monday morning to monitor the Chehalis River. They will then determine if they need to put a boat back into the river to look for Warren again.
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