Missing Fulton County man identified after boat capsizes in flood waters

By WEEK Producer

February 25, 2014 Updated Feb 26, 2014 at 9:50 PM CDT

BERNADOTTE, Ill. -- We are seeing some of the dangerous effects from flooding here in central Illinois

Rural roads in communities like Bernadotte are under water. The small town sits about 7 miles west of Lewistown.

On Monday night, emergency workers responded to a call about a man who was caught in the flood waters after a boat capsized in a flooded area around 7:30 p.m. It happened near Old Bridge Road and Tarters Ferry Road.

The man has been identified as Floyd Belless, 66. A dive team from Copperas Creed tried unsuccessfully to rescue him. The search has now turned into a recovery effort.

The Ipava Fire Department and mutual aid, including a dive team, were back in the water Tuesday morning but the search was called off again due to weather conditions.

Authorities said Belless was headed towards his home to retrieve belongings when his boat capsized.

"There's not a whole lot of open water in the area where he was last seen,” said Ipava Fire Chief Chris Schisler. “The ice has hampered operations. It's probably four inches plus thick and the current underneath the ice."

Schisler said flood waters in the intersections were two feet higher on Monday. He said right now it is a wait and see situation due to the icy, dangerous conditions.

There are about 20 residents who live in the area but authorities said their homes are not flooded. It is the intersections and streets that are impassable.

The water is expected to continue to recede but it is unclear when crews will resume the recovery effort.

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