- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) - Search teams scoured the Passaic River and its tributaries Tuesday for an inspector who fell off a bridge during heavy rains a day earlier and was swept away.

The worker was inspecting a bridge near a brook that feeds into the river in northern New Jersey on Monday when the downpour pounded the area, causing him to slip.

Police said another inspector escaped and notified police.

The search resumed Tuesday after it was suspended around 8 p.m. Monday.

The search included 11 boats and swift water rescue units from Bergen County and Paterson.

Passaic Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Porto said navigating the water during a rainstorm at night was too dangerous to continue the search.

Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost said under normal conditions, the Weasel Brook is only about six inches deep. But he estimated the brook swelled to 11 feet in depth Monday.

“It was like a tsunami,” Trentacost said. “It went from a few inches deep to flood stage within a few minutes.”

The missing man was wearing a gray shirt, lime-green work jacket and blue jeans. He was not wearing a life jacket, but the man was wearing a helmet and carried a flashlight with him.

Police Chief Ross Capuana said a construction helmet and flashlight was retrieved from the water. It was unclear whether they belonged to the missing man.

Authorities haven’t released the man’s name.

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