Rescue crews search for man missing on hazardous stretch of North Raccoon River

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Dallas County authorities continued to search Monday for a man who went missing Sunday while tubing on a stretch of the North Raccoon River between Adel and Van Meter.

The search began after a report around 4:30 p.m. Sunday of tubers in distress brought rescue crews from several Des Moines metro agencies.

The man in his mid-30s, who was not identified, reportedly went underwater and didn't resurface.

On the Middle Raccoon River between Panora and Redfield.
On the Middle Raccoon River between Panora and Redfield.

The stretch of the North Raccoon and Raccoon rivers from Dallas County's Puckerbush access to Van Meter is popular with tubers and paddlers. Currently, however, construction of new bridges carrying eastbound and westbound Interstate 80 across the river has rendered the route hazardous, with water routed via tubes through a diversion channel.

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Signs posted at the access warn of the hazard. On Monday, the access was closed temporarily as boats and dive teams searched for the missing man.

“We’re still searching for him and haven’t located him," said Craig Lonneman, a conservation officer with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. "We’re excavating some pipes that are out of this diversion structure just to rule that he’s not in this area.

“We’re clearing these tubes that some of the other folks went (through), and we believe he might have,” Lonneman added.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Crews search for tuber missing on North Raccoon River at I-80 bridges