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April 18, 2024

Flood waters claim woman’s life

A Hickory woman died after being swept away by a rain swollen creek in the Ellendale Community over the weekend, according to Sheriff Chad Pennell.

On Saturday, July 15, 2023, at around 11:27 p.m., the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, Ellendale Fire Department, Alexander County EMS, Alexander County Rescue squad were dispatched to the 1300 block of Dover Church Road, near Duck Creek Drive, to a water rescue. The 911 dispatch reported two victims, with one victim clinging to a tree and one victim in the water off Duck Creek Drive. Emergency agencies located one victim clinging to a tree off Duck Creek Drive.

Alexander County Rescue deployed a raft to the victim in the tree at approximately 12:15 a.m. and the victim was removed from the water at approximately 12:31 a.m.

The rescued victim was treated by Alexander County EMS for non-life threatening injuries and released at the scene. The rescued victim also confirmed the second victim jumped out of a vehicle into the water. The search for the second victim continued into the daytime.

Alexander County Emergency Management was dispatched to the scene to assist with assets. The following agencies also assisted in the search for the missing victim: Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, Taylorsville Police Department, Alexander County EMS, Alexander County Rescue Squad, Alexander County Emergency Services, Alexander County Government, Ellendale Fire Department, Bethlehem Fire and Rescue, Hiddenite Fire Department, Sugar Loaf Fire Department, Taylorsville Fire Department, Wittenberg Fire Department, Little River Fire Department, North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina Forest Service, and North Carolina DOT.

As a result of the hard work of the listed agencies the victim, Lisa Michelle Riahi, W/F, age 49 of Hickory, was located deceased around 2.2 miles from the initial incident.

Alexander County Emergency Management reported that 7.3 inches of rainfall was recorded in the area of the incident. The investigation is continuing as a death investigation.

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