Two children, 4 and 5, missing after an overnight flash flood in North Carolina swept away mom’s car

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Two children, aged 5 and 4, are missing after an overnight flash flood in North Carolina swept away their mom’s car and capsized four rescue boats trying to save them.   

The 5-year-old girl and her younger brother were traveling with their mother along Galilee Road in Smithfield, outside Raleigh, Monday night when rising water flooded the road and swept the vehicle away. 

Rescue crews were able to initially pull the mother and boy from the water but the treacherous conditions overturned the rescue boats and the child was lost again.  

Four swiftwater rescue boats capsized in the extreme currents, authorities said, meaning first responders also had to be saved from the perilous waters. 

The car has since been recovered but there was no sign of the two children inside.  

Two children, aged 5 and 4, are missing after an overnight flash flood in North Carolina swept away their mom's car and capsized four rescue boats trying to save them. Rescue crews searching for the children

Two children, aged 5 and 4, are missing after an overnight flash flood in North Carolina swept away their mom’s car and capsized four rescue boats trying to save them. Rescue crews searching for the children

Rescue crews were able to initially pull the mother and boy from the water but the treacherous conditions overturned the rescue boats and the child was lost again

Rescue crews were able to initially pull the mother and boy from the water but the treacherous conditions overturned the rescue boats and the child was lost again

The mother and two emergency responders were taken to hospital

The mother and two emergency responders were taken to hospital 

Smithfield, Wilson Mills, Princeton, and Four Oaks fire departments all responded to a 911 call from the mother at around 11:30 p.m. Monday night, according to Johnston County emergency officials. 

Smithfield Fire Chief John Blanton said at a press conference Tuesday rescue crews managed to get the mother and one child into recovery boats on the way to safety when the boats capsized. 

The rescue teams grabbed the mother and were able to get to safety, but the child slipped away in the fast-moving water, he said.

‘They got into the water and they were able to rescue the child, a child and the mother,’ Blanton said.

‘The water was so turbulent that the boat capsized and they lost the child.’   

The 5-year-old girl and her younger brother were traveling with their mother along Galilee Road in Smithfield, outside Raleigh, Monday night when rising water flooded the road and swept the vehicle away. The car was recovered Tuesday but the children were not inside (above)

The 5-year-old girl and her younger brother were traveling with their mother along Galilee Road in Smithfield, outside Raleigh, Monday night when rising water flooded the road and swept the vehicle away. The car was recovered Tuesday but the children were not inside (above)

Rescue teams search for the missing children after the extreme weather swept the car off the road

Rescue teams search for the missing children after the extreme weather swept the car off the road

Four boats were lost in the rescue mission to save the children, he added. 

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries when they were dragged at least a mile down the river by the current.  

‘The amount of water and the current is so strong, it overcomes you when you start to turn a boat, and you’re in debris and tress and such, so they were fighting against that as well, so they’d hit a tree, they’d flip over. That’s basically what they were in last night,’ Blanton said Tuesday.

The mother and two first responders were taken to a local hospital for treatment. 

Family friends told WRAL.com the mom has since been discharged from hospital.    

Smithfield Fire Chief John Blanton Tuesday at the scene. Four swiftwater rescue boats capsized in the extreme currents, authorities said, meaning first responders also had to be saved from the perilous waters

Smithfield Fire Chief John Blanton Tuesday at the scene. Four swiftwater rescue boats capsized in the extreme currents, authorities said, meaning first responders also had to be saved from the perilous waters

The aftermath of the flooding on the road. More than seven inches of rain fell in Smithfield overnight Monday, causing numerous roads to flood in the area, emergency officials said

The aftermath of the flooding on the road. More than seven inches of rain fell in Smithfield overnight Monday, causing numerous roads to flood in the area, emergency officials said

On Tuesday morning, search crews found the family’s car but there was no one inside.  

A helicopter, heavy-duty all-terrain vehicles and K-9s all joined in Tuesday’s search but did not locate the missing children. 

Relatives of the missing children were also seen pacing the area, looking for signs of their loved ones. 

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said the search for the young children had been suspended for the night at around 5 p.m. Tuesday and would resume at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. 

At this time – more than 24 hours after the tragic incident occurred – the search is still being treated as a rescue and not a recovery mission.   

More than seven inches of rain fell in Smithfield overnight Monday, causing numerous roads to flood in the area, emergency officials said. 

An elderly couple also had to be rescued when the extreme weather caused their car to overturn on the nearby I-95. 

Relatives of the missing children were also seen pacing the area Tuesday, looking for signs of their loved ones

Relatives of the missing children were also seen pacing the area Tuesday, looking for signs of their loved ones

A helicopter, heavy-duty all-terrain vehicles and K-9s all joined in Tuesday's search but did not locate the missing children

A helicopter, heavy-duty all-terrain vehicles and K-9s all joined in Tuesday’s search but did not locate the missing children

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