- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) - Authorities were searching along the South Platte River in western Nebraska on Tuesday, looking for two people who reportedly drove into the rushing water the night before.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that a 911 caller reported a little before 11:30 p.m. Monday that a car had driven into the swollen river where it had washed out part of South River Road, west of Buffalo Bill Avenue on the south side of North Platte.

Chief Deputy Roland Kramer told The Associated Press that officers, firefighters and others carefully searched along the banks all night and that a helicopter was helping them Tuesday morning. But boats were not being deployed, Kramer said, because of safety concerns.

“The river is still high and still moving very fast and is very dangerous,” Kramer said.

The South Platte, filled to overflowing by snowmelt and runoff from heavy rains in Colorado, returned below flood stage sometime Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

The Sheriff’s Office said the driver apparently drove around several barricades posted with “Road Closed” signs and was speeding east when the car ran into the water. Three North Platte men who had gone to the scene to search for the two missing people also drove into the river, but the office said they were able to escape the water and reach one of the banks.

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