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Ferndale man swept away by flood trying to reach kids

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A Northern California man was swept away by floodwaters and died trying to get to his home where three children were trapped, authorities said Thursday, as residents of two communities hundreds of miles to the south were marooned by the worst flooding there in more than 20 years.

The unidentified man was trying to walk from a barn to his home through up to 5 feet of water Wednesday evening when he was carried away by the fast-moving current, said Samantha Karges, a spokeswoman with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

Two adults and a child tried to rescue the man, but their tractor stalled in the water. Deputies in a boat then rescued them and the three children from the home, Karges said.

The missing man’s body was found Thursday morning. He was the father of a 12-year-old trapped in the home with two children under 4, Karges said. She was not sure if all three children were related. The low-lying rural area about 215 miles north of San Francisco is home to many dairy farms and flooded when the Eel River went over its banks.

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