Search launched after witnesses say they saw a man in the river

Authorities can’t confirm sighting of white male in bright yellow shirt

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
A witness speaks with Fort Dodge Police Officer Caitlin Carlyle, left, and Fort Dodge Police Lt. Matt Lundberg, right, under the Kenyon Road Bridge Monday. Apparently witnesses were under the bridge, up on the hill, when they say they saw a white male wearing a bright yellow shirt in the river.

First responders searched Monday evening for a male who was initially reported as face down in the Des Moines River, near the Kenyon Road Bridge.

Fort Dodge police officers and paramedics were called to Avenue B and Avenue C, on the hospital side of Avenue C shortly after 4:38 p.m.

Witnesses described what they believed was a white male wearing a bright yellow shirt and khaki pants or shorts, according to Capt. Ryan Gruenberg, of the Fort Dodge Police Department.

The person who called the Webster County Communications Center said they were told by family members that they believe they witnessed a man floating down the river, Gruenberg reported.

He said that at the time of that call no reports had been received within Webster County of a male who may have gone in the river.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Police and Fire rescue officers speak with witnesses on the hospital side of the Des Moines River after receiving a report of a man seen floating down the river. The river is very high and moving fast, and officers were unable to locate anyone in the river Monday evening.

Kossuth and Humboldt counties also had no reports at that time.

The Fort Dodge Fire Department deployed its boat and searched the area from Kenyon Road to U.S. Highway 20. Nothing was immediately located, Gruenberg reported.

“Due to the current river levels, we continue to urge caution to individuals considering activities along the river,” Gruenberg said in a written statement. “These levels can create an unpredictable environment and what may seem safe on the surface, may present hidden hazards beneath.”

He added, “We are asking the public to make sure anyone they know of who may have been along the Des Moines River, especially in Webster, Kossuth and Humboldt County, is accounted for. If you have concerns, please contact your local law enforcement agency.”

Fort Dodge Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter said Monday evening that the search will be suspended because no one has been reported missing.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Fort Dodge Fire Rescue officers float across what is usually a bike path, now covered in flood waters, on their way to the Des Moines River near Sunkissed Meadows Monday evening. The boat put in around 4:50 p.m., and had been told to turn around by around 5:20 p.m.

The Fort Dodge Police Department, the Webster County Sheriff’s Department, the Fort Dodge Fire Department, and Unity Point — Trinity Regional Medical Center responded.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Fort Dodge Fire Rescue officers make their way downstream under the Kenyon Road Bridge after a report of a man floating down the river. The boat put in around 4:50 p.m., and had been told to turn around by around 5:20 p.m.

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