UPDATE: The search for 11-year-old Ryan Teasdale continued at first light on Friday.
Dozens of searchers from the State Emergency Service, Police and Marine Police are on scene at Riley Park continuing to search for the boy who went missing while bodyboarding with friends on Thursday night.
Wollongong City Council staff are also on site as they have detailed knowledge of the drain network in the area.
Residents are still shocked about the incident and are confused as to how it could have happened.
They said the floodwaters were fast-flowing in the park at the time of Ryan’s disappearance.
Ryan Teasdale had been body-boarding with a group of people in Riley Park but police were alerted after he failed to return home.
A search continued throughout the night but there’s been no sign of either Ryan or his blue body-board, a police spokesman said.
A briefing for searchers was held at 6am with deployment at first light.
Police said Ryan’s brother left the park about 4.30pm when he could not find Ryan, but soon discovered he was not at home either.
Ryan’s family began searching for him, before raising the alarm at 6.30pm when he could not be located.
State Emergency Service crews rushed to the scene and immediately began their search, aided by police and specialist ambulance crews trained in swift water rescue.
Distraught onlookers watched on as the operation unfolded.
On Thursday police were focused on stormwater drains in the vicinity of the park, with emergency service personnel using headlamps to light the way.
One woman took to social media to say the park often became a popular sliding ground during heavy rainfall.
“We saw them, about 20 kids with their boogie boards, it's something kids do there all the time. So devastating,” she wrote.
A resident at the scene, who did not wish to be named, told the Mercury: “they bring their body boards and race down the hill”.
“I hope this young boy is okay.”
Ryan was last seen wearing a blue board shorts, no shirt, and was in possession of a blue body board which has not been located.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact police immediately.