Rescue Squad responds to stranded motorist calls because of flood

Posted By | February 10, 2020 2:57 pm

Charlie Hickey Road and Milligan Road, car submerged (Photo by BECKY GOLDEN)

By Rachel Auberger

Sparta-White County Volunteer Rescue Squad responded to two calls of persons stranded in their vehicles on the morning of Feb. 6, 2020, after torrential rain had soaked much of the area and caused hazardous driving conditions.

“Rescue was paged this morning at 5:58 to Charlie Hickey and Milligan Road for a stranded motorist in the flood waters with reports of one patient trapped,” Assistant Rescue Squad Chief T.C. Good, reported.

When rescuers arrived on the scene, a two-man team was deployed to assess the situation but found the vehicle empty.

“We were then notified that the patient had been removed from the vehicle and taken to a dry location on higher ground,” Good said.

According to E-911 dispatch records, the stranded motorist claimed to have driven around barriers in an attempt to drive through the rising waters on her way to work. While waiting for rescue volunteers, the motorist reported rising waters coming in through the car doors and rising over the seats and that attempts to unlock the doors were unsuccessful as they immediately relocked with each attempt.

Before the rescue squad could arrive, the trapped motorist was able to reach a family member who brought a kayak and was able to get her to safety.

While Sparta-White County Volunteer Rescue Squad was attempting to locate the stranded motorist at Charlie Hickey Road, a second page for water rescue was issued for mutual aid needed at LaFever Road, in Putnam County.

The vehicle had become completely submerged in the flood waters, and the motorist had exited the vehicle and was clinging to a tree limb

“When rescue arrived, the vehicle was completely submerged under water, and the patient was latched on to a tree top,” Good said. “Sparta- White County Volunteer Rescue Squad then worked alongside Putnam County rescue to retrieve the victim.”

According to E-911 dispatch records, rescuers initially had some difficulty reaching the motorist and had to enter the waters near Bunker Hill. The call was originally sent to Cumberland County Rescue for additional aid but eventually was canceled when rescuers already on the scene were able to safely retrieve the motorist.

After clearing both scenes, Sparta-White County Rescue Squad returned to the station to gear up for more rain-related calls.

“Thank you to White County Sheriff’s Department and Putnam County Rescue for their efforts and the help with these rescues,” Good said.

With the threat of more rain on its way over the next seven days, and the fact that there are still several roads in White County that are closed due to flooding, Good offered a warning, “I’d like to also say if you see a road closed sign or heavy water on roadway, please turn around and take the safe way out.”

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