Butler County authorities have suspended diving operations in the Walnut River just south of El Dorado Lake as they search for a man whose tractor fell into the river Friday afternoon.
“We’re in recovery mode now,” Sheriff Kelly Herzet said.
Though the man’s family has been notified, Herzet said authorities will wait to release his name until his body has been found.
Someone called 911 at about 3:15 p.m. Friday to report seeing the tractor in the river, said Tyler Brewer, chief of the Augusta Department of Public Safety.
Recent rains have filled El Dorado Lake, leading to the Army Corps of Engineers increasing the flow rate into the Walnut. But the corps reduced the flow rate to assist in the search and recovery.
“We found a couple articles of clothing downstream,” Herzet said Friday night.
A boat with side sonar was searching downstream, and searchers were probing areas of the river as sunset neared. Herzet said the search will resume at dawn on Saturday.