A national guardsman vanished in a dangerous flash flood that devastated parts of Maryland and remained missing Monday, authorities said.
Eddison Hermond, an Air Force veteran and active-duty member of the Maryland Army National Guard, was last seen helping a woman navigate the dangerous waters with her cat, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Kate Bowman escaped her flooded Clippers Canine Cafe with her cat and then watched the surging flood pull Hermond under.
“He stepped over the ledge to try to get to me, and he was washed away,” Bowman tearfully told the newspaper.
Howard County Police Chief Gary Gardner initially said Hermond was trying to save Bowman’s cat, a narrative she disputes.
“He was trying to save me,” she said, tearfully.
Hermond had been with friends at a nearby bar when the afternoon hangout turned into a nightmare, according to Gardner’s account of the soldier’s heroics. Torrents of muddied storm water cascaded down the city’s Main Street after a historic downpour.
Hermond, 39, never surfaced, Gardner said.
As of late Monday, authorities have found no sign of Hermond.
Hermond’s friend, Bonnie Hoppa, said he was last seen trailing toward the Patapsco River.
“Please please please, if you know where Eddison is, we are extremely worried,” Hoppa posted on Facebook.
Hermond appears to be the only person unaccounted for in the destructive floods.
Officials in the 246-year-old town said they were heartbroken to see the community once again be ravaged by floods less than two years after a rainstorm killed two people and caused millions in damages.
Authorities were just beginning to assess the damages Monday, but preliminary reports indicated the destruction was worse than that caused by the July 2016 flood.