Coming rain could slow search for missing swimmers

TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KXII) With up to three inches of rain in the forecast, the search for two teenage swimmers near a Tishomingo creek could be delayed.

Using dive teams, a K-9 unit and sonar devices, emergency crews searched all day for two teenagers who disappeared after going swimming at Pennington Creek in Tishomingo on Sunday.

Johnston County EMS director Kenny Power said the teens had texted friends they were going swimming and crews found a car belonging to one of the boys with their cellphones and some clothes inside.

Power said they also found car keys at the shore and footprints leading into the water.

Now, with three more inches of rain and more chances for flooding, conditions are about to get more difficult.

Jason Bryant, Johnston County Emergency Management director, has been keeping an eye on the weather.

Bryant said water can shift debris underneath the surface making it harder for divers and surface crews.

"I figure we're going to have to search it all back over again," Bryant said.

Not only do the crews have to worry about rain in Tishomingo, they also need to keep an eye on rain to the north.

Rain water in Pontotoc County and areas north of Tishomingo flow into Pennington Creek.

"And, it doesn't take but a couple inches and this thing gets out of its banks," Bryant said.

Around 6 p.m. Monday, organizers called all surface crews out of the water and sent two diver teams back out. One of the teams went near the dam where officials believe the two swimmers went missing.

"We've had divers since probably about noon checking some of the deeper holes and some of the things we've had flagged," Bryant said.

Bryant said he and the crews are staying optimistic that the coming rain will not be as bad as predicted.

"If we don't find them today, we're going to find them tomorrow," he said. "We're going to make every effort to accomplish that mission."

Johnston County EMS said the search has been suspended for Monday night.

Organizers will meet Tuesday morning to evaluate the weather and condition of Pennington creek.

Then they will make a decision on the next step.

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