Crews still searching for missing kayaker near Audra

Search and rescue crews from across central West Virginia continued to look for a missing kayaker along the Middle Fork River as darkness fell Sunday evening.

According to the Belington Fire Department, which is leading the SAR response, crews planned to continue operations until 9 p.m. or later. Teams with portable lights and glow sticks were arriving on scene at 7 p.m.

The Belington fire chief told television media the missing kayaker was a female and they believed her body was under water.

She was reported missing by members of her kayaking group at about 2 p.m. They were down river from Audra State Park at the time of the incident.

The Buckhannon Fire Department said it sent six volunteers to assist at about 4:30 p.m.

According to U.S. Geological Service data, the river gauge at Audra registered about 4.3 feet Sunday afternoon. While that is higher than average, it is within the American Whitewater recommended flow range of 3.2-6.0 feet for that section of the Middle Fork River.

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