VIDEO: Elderly woman missing after 40 people trapped near Tennessee waterfall

JACKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – About 40 people became trapped at Cummins Falls State Park on Wednesday due to swift water after a wave of storms moved through the area.

All but one person was rescued by 8 p.m. after the situation began early afternoon Wednesday. A 73-year-old woman remains missing.


Rescue crews are considering the search for the final victim a recovery effort. Her identity has not been released at this time.

The people became trapped after flash flooding hit Putnam County. The water rose three feet in three minutes.

One woman said they knew something was wrong when the waterfall turned brown. Then the water rose very quickly, trapping them on the other side of the river.

At that time, a total of 27 people were trapped underneath the falls, three on an island surrounded by the high water, and 10 others downstream, according to Jackson County 911 Director Michael Smith.

By 6:30 p.m., 15 people had been rescued. Some were airlifted out of the park while others were tossed a rope and pulled out, and everyone else was rescued within the next two hours.

The search for the final victim ended at sundown but was expected to resume Thursday morning at sunrise.

No serious injuries were immediately reported.

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