Search underway for missing 14-year-old on swollen NC river
Charlotte area emergency officials are warning about venomous snakes after persistent rains dislodged them from their habitats.
Searchers trying to find a 14-year-old boy who went missing in the rain-swollen South Fork Catawba River Monday night reported encountering “a number of poisonous snakes” on Tuesday, Keith Rapp, Gaston County emergency management director, said at a news conference about the rescue effort.
No injuries were reported, but the encounters were enough for Rapp to urge the public to beware of such snakes where people don’t normally expect to see them. Rapp did not specify the types of poisonous snakes the rescuers encountered.
Flooding from relentless rains killed three people west of Lincolnton on Saturday night after their car spun off a flooded road and toppled into a creek, the State Highway Patrol said. In parts of Mecklenburg, Catawba, Caldwell and Gaston counties, streets were closed, homes were flooded and dozens of people had to be rescued, The Charlotte Observer reported.
Snakes scattered from where they normally nestle are yet another reason “right now is not the time” to be boating or swimming in swollen water, Rapp said.
Among 37 species of snakes in the state, North Carolina has six of the venomous variety, The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported: the copperhead; the cottonmouth, also called water moccasin; the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the pigmy rattlesnake, the timber rattlesnake and the extremely rare eastern coral snake.
Copperheads are also the most common venomous snakes in South Carolina, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. The same six venomous snakes found in North Carolina are also the ones slithering about in South Carolina, according to the department.