Kayaker’s body found; 4th death from flooding

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AVA, Mo. – The body of a kayaker missing since Wednesday has been found in a swollen southwest Missouri creek, the fourth person to die in the latest round of spring flooding.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. John Lueckenhoff says troopers found the body of 35-year-old Scott M. Puckett of Forsyth, Missouri, Friday afternoon in Bull Creek. The body of his friend, 23-year-old Alex Ekern, was found Thursday.

Puckett and Ekern were among three men who began paddling Wednesday afternoon in the creek near the small town of Walnut Shade. The patrol says they were swept over a low-water bridge and caught in what is called a hydraulic, which creates a washing-machine effect that is hard to escape.

One of the men was able to escape and climbed a steep bank seeking help.

Flooding also claimed the life of a camper found Wednesday after he was caught in waters from an overflowed creek near the town of Ava, also in southwest Missouri. And in northern Indiana, a 2-year-old was killed when his mother drove onto a flooded road.

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