RIPLEY, Ohio (AP) — A creek that flooded during a torrential downpour in southern Ohio swept away a mobile home late Saturday, killing three members of a family of six huddling for safety inside, authorities said.
A mother and her son and daughter were killed, and the father and two sons survived, including one found in a tree, said Art Owens, Georgetown village administrator.
"Basically they were swept downstream," Owens said Sunday.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that eyewitnesses said the mobile home split in half as it was pulled down the creek and broke into smaller pieces as it was swept through trees lining the waterway.
Neighbors Wade and Sharon Linville were trapped in their house across the street for about an hour as the flood waters rose and covered their driveway.
"It was up in an instant," Wade Linville told the Enquirer. "There was nothing they could do."
The double-wide mobile home was just a few yards from Red Oak Creek in Ripley, about an hour southeast of Cincinnati. Owens said rain was falling as heavily as four inches an hour Saturday night. The downpour also flooded several streets in Georgetown to a depth of 5 or 6 feet.
"We periodically get flash flooding, and get water into homes and stuff, but nothing of this magnitude," Owens said.
The father and two surviving sons were rescued about two hours after the disaster, he said. The body of the family's daughter — a girl around 5 years old — was finally found around 9 a.m. Sunday, Owens said. The survivors were taken to a Cincinnati hospital.
WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported that one of the boys who survived told his uncle the family huddled in the bathroom of their mobile home as the creek began to rise.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for much of central and southwest Ohio, including Brown County, until midnight Sunday.