EFFINGHAM, S.C. — First responders were searching the Lynches River on Saturday for a youth who was swept away while playing with friends in a flooded area near Fork Road.

Florence County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Glenn Kirby said the department's helicopter was flying the area in conjunction with Howe Springs and South Lynches firefighters who had boats on the river with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources agents.

The search was suspended Saturday night and was expected to be resumed at 6:45 a.m. Sunday.

After two weeks of heavy rains and a pre-season tropical storm the Lynches River is running high — above 17 feet — and fast — more than 9,000 cubic feet of water a second.

The river has inundated neighborhoods along Fork Road, Roundtree Road, Stagecoach Road, Unicorn Road and Meadow Prong Road.

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