Search for missing man delayed by dangerous river conditions

By WEEK Producer

May 6, 2013 Updated May 7, 2013 at 4:32 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The search for a Peoria man believed to be in the Illinois River was put off Monday due to dangerous conditions.

Peoria investigators say a witness saw a man in a white sports utility vehicle drive into the river off State Street early Saturday morning.

Family members believe that man could be Clarence Hanson.

A Peoria fire Department search and dive team was on the Illinois River Monday morning combing the water for signs of the white Chevy Tahoe.

Fire Chief Kent Tomblin says authorities have spoken with Hanson's relatives who confirm the 33-year-old man disappeared Friday night.

Chief Tomblin says the river's current is more than three times the normal amount, making it extremely difficult to conduct a search.

"Right now, with the flooding, the river is a terribly dangerous place to go. The knots right now are at four miles per hour. We don't dive unless it's probably less than three knots an hour," said Tomblin.

Bianca Green, a relative of Hanson, says so far there has been no sign of him and it is pretty much a waiting game at this point.

Even though the river has been receding, the water is still about 4 feet above flood stage.

Chief Tomblin says they are very sympathetic towards the family but do no want to put divers at risk.