Firefighters in Allen County are asking people to stay out of Cedar Creek. The rain on Friday caused the river to rise and the current to quicken, making it dangerous to be in.
Northeast Fire & EMS Chief Randy Daniels said within 24 hours, crews were called to two incidents and rescued 14 people from the water.
Sunday morning several small groups of kayakers came around the bend under the Tonkel Road bridge and encountered trees in the water.
“It was a bottleneck and got bunched up right there. Some people fell out of kayaks and some were able to stay in their kayak,” Daniels said.
Northeast Fire & EMS, Huntertown Fire Department and Fort Wayne Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team all responded. He said it took the 25 to 30 emergency responders about 90 minutes to get everyone out.
“One lady lost her cell phone, but that’s material. The important thing is everyone went home okay,” Daniels said.
He added that the kayakers were experienced and didn’t do anything wrong. But, once the first group hit the trees and got stuck, the rest of the kayaks just piled up.
Saturday night, crews were called to the creek off Hursh Road near Metea Park to rescue two people from the water.
“They were in the water and the undercurrent swept them down river and they were hanging onto a tree. The same thing here. We were able to get them to shore,” Daniels said.
With the water more dangerous from Friday’s rain, Daniels is asking people to stay out of the river.
“Some of the obstacles are not seen anymore. If you’re not familiar with the area, you’re going to come across things you’d normally be able to see and you can navigate around them. Water is also moving faster due to the amount of water,” he said.
He expects the water to start going back down Monday or Tuesday. And he added some advice for anytime someone goes into the water.
“Wear preservers, have a communication device with you and go with friends so if something happens to you, they can call for help,” Daniels said.