73-Year-Old Still Missing After Dozens Rescued From Cummins Falls State Park

Posted at 4:37 PM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 11:43:47-04

An elderly woman remained missing after flash flooding stranded dozens at Cummins Falls State Park in Jackson County. The search has now become a recovery effort. 

According to Jackson County officials, a total of 35 to 40 people were stranded, including 27 around the falls area, three in middle of water on a small island and ten down stream.

The water rose three feet within three minutes, creating a very dangerous situation for anyone in the area.

Everyone was rescued from the flash flooding except for a 73-year-old woman, who is still missing. Crews called off the search at nightfall and are expected to resume their efforts Thursday morning.

Crews from the White County, Smith County and Jackson County also responded to the scene to help with the rescue.

A Tennessee Highway Patrol chopper picked up about nine people from the water.

"If he [THP helicopter] hadn't been in the area, if he hadn't got those first six out of the first nine that we got out, we'd definitely have a different story," said Jackson County EMA Director Keith Bean.

Wednesday's storms not only caused flash flooding at the state park but also caused several rivers and lakes to rise throughout the region. 

Bean went on to say it was an "unreal" situation and that he's never seen the water rise so quickly there.  

Read More: Tennessee State Park Called 'Really Dangerous'