Rising waters halt search for body in Chattooga River - FOX Carolina 21

Rising waters halt search for body in Chattooga River

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Crews search for the body of Mr. Thomas Hill in the Five Falls Area on June 26, 2013 (USDA Forest Service) Crews search for the body of Mr. Thomas Hill in the Five Falls Area on June 26, 2013 (USDA Forest Service)
LONG CREEK, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The recovery of Thomas Hill, who drowned in the Chattooga River, entered its second week Tuesday but the search has stopped because of rising river waters.

The body of Mr. Hill had moved from its previous location by currents, according to Michelle Burnett of the U.S. Forest Service.

Burnett said responders from Georgia Search and Rescue Task Force 7 have been able to locate the body using sonar equipment.

The recovery effort depends on the water level and the weather, according to Burnett. She said on Tueday that rainfall had halted their efforts for now.

"The river depth has increased by around three feet in the area where Mr. Hill was located yesterday, and there is no safe access from rafts or shoreline today," said Incident Commander Buck Haney. "The boulders and bedrock that provide anchor points are difficult or impossible to access at these levels, and there are no safe areas on the shorelines."

While they won't be on the water, crews will hike to the area in the hopes that the high water will reveal Hill's body.

"We have located Mr. Hill's body deep in the Sockem-Dog rapid," said incident commander Marty Dixon on Monday.

All commercial boating is also halted in the Five Falls area near Sockem-Dog rapid.

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