DULUTH, Minn. - An 8-year-old boy is OK after being swept about six blocks through a culvert in flooded Duluth.
8 year old Kenneth Markaewict was playing in a culvert when suddenly the pressure sucked him under and took him for a frightening one-mile ride.
Emergency responders swept every exit point using pipe poles to locate Kenneth until a Proctor man finally located him in the woods, close to the Zenith terrace trailer park complex.
Kenneth's family says he was horrified and upset by the incident, but his uncle is relieved the boy is alive and hopes parents can learn a lesson from their close call.
"Parents should put some stress in letting their kids out in weather like this," said George Mallkin, Kenneth's uncle. "Even though the rain stopped there is still a lot of danger there. And the water is running really fast so take caution on what your kids do."
Miraculously Kenneth received only minor injuries. He is visiting from Louisiana and has family in Proctor.
St. Louis County Undersheriff Dave Phillips says the boy suffered some cuts, scrapes and bruises but is fine.
Phillips says the boy somehow was swept into the culvert near Proctor Wednesday afternoon and traveled about six blocks before he "popped up" down current.
The undersheriff calls it a "miracle out of this whole disaster." He did not know the boy's name.
Phillips pleaded with the public at 1 p.m. to stay at home and not try to drive anywhere, noting dozens of roads are closed, bridges washed out and pavement buckled.
"Please, please don't try to go out. Do not drive around barricades," Phillips relayed through the Duluth News Tribune. "Don't drive through standing water. And don't let children play near the water,. We have cases where water is rising so fast people can't get out of the way."
Emergency officials are also asking people to limit cell phone calls so the system can remain open for emergency calls.
Nine inches of rain has caused major flooding in Duluth. Phillips urges people to avoid standing and draining water, and to not drive around barricades.
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