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Body of man swept away in Whatcom County floodwaters believed to have been found

Police said Jose Garcia, a father of four, called for help while clinging to a tree on Main Street in Everson Sunday night.

EVERSON, Wash. — Police believe they found the body of a missing Everson man who was swept away by floodwaters Monday.

Just after 1 p.m. on Wednesday, search and rescue volunteers and police found the body of a man in a wooded area in the 600 block of Main Street in Everson. The body is believed to be that of 59-year-old Jose Garcia.

The man's final cause of death will be determined by the Whatcom County Medical Examiner.

Early Monday morning, Garcia was reportedly driving to work when he drove through a road-closed barricade on East Main Street, his family told police. His vehicle was swept into a nearby field.

Garcia, a married father of four, called his family to tell them he had been swept away after trying to get out of his vehicle and was clinging to brush or trees. He said he was somewhere between an O'Reilly Auto Parts store and Nooksack Valley Middle School, a few blocks away.

The phone disconnected.

When the 911 call in, first responders were unable to get a vehicle to the area due to the depth of flood waters and speed of the current, according to Everson police.

Search and rescue was notified and they checked the area by boat around 6:30 a.m. They were unable to find anyone at the time.

A resident living on Skuksan Street, near the field Garcia was reportedly at, called 911 to report he could hear yelling, but he could not understand what was being said.

Everson is located east of Lynden near the Nooksack River.

An atmospheric river brought heavy rain and wind to western Washington on Sunday night, prompting Flood Warnings on a dozen rivers. The Nooksack River spilled over its banks Monday morning and washed out several roads.

The Nooksack River at Everson crested Monday afternoon in minor flood stage, according to the National Weather Service.

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