The saying “turn around, don’t drown” is a familiar one for many who live in flood-prone areas — but as long as there are people living near areas that flood, there will be those who end up driving into flooded roadways either out of ignorance, incorrectly thinking their car can handle it, or simply being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Arizona has seen a lot of flooding lately as monsoon rains wreak havoc, especially in former burn areas.
Tucson has seen several flood rescues in the past month. On Aug. 10, four people in two separate cars found themselves in bad spots when the Canada Del Oro Wash flooded.
One of the cars contained a single driver who managed to get out on their own. The other vehicle, a truck, required emergency assistance, and video of the scene shows just how dangerous a rescue it was.
“Crews from GRFD and [Northwest Fire District] responded to 2 swift water rescue calls at La Cholla and Overton before 8:00 this morning,” the Golder Ranch Fire District posted on Tuesday.
“One vehicle had 3 passengers who were safely extricated and another vehicle had one driver that self-extricated. Great team work from all first responders!”
“First attempt was to use the ladder from the ladder truck and try to reach the vehicle that way, so that we didn’t have to put our people in the water,” Robb said.
“The water was rising too fast and it was too deep for our people to go into the water, so we used the ladder to get vests for the three patients that were inside in case they fell out and floated down,” he continued.
“And then it was determined that they, on the other side of the river, they had a better shot — it was a little more shallow for them to walk in and then pull the patients out one by one and get them out on the other side.”
“The really dark stuff that you see in the video, that actually made it harder to rescue because we were getting hit by logs and different debris, and — and root systems that were coming downstream, further complicating the rescue.”
Three people, including the woman, were safely rescued from the truck, according to Fox News.
According to one man who commented on the fire district’s post, the area has long been known for being a dangerous spot.
“This particular wash crossing actually has a ‘do not enter when flooded gate’ on both sides,” Karl Griggs commented. “[Y]ou can see it in the back ground of this video. Sherriff are supposed the close them so this can not happen.”
“[I]t is so damn easy to enter this wash … I have actually seen it in this wash, a 7 foot high wall of water blast across Overton Road …”
“I lived on this actual corner of Overton and La Cholla from age 9 in 1969, and my father did until his house was bought by the county as a water run-off catch basin for water off of La Cholla because water was flooding the housing development across the street. It took nearly 30 maybe a bit more years to have those gates put at that spot.”
Many other commenters reprimanded the drivers for their poor choices, stating that they hoped they would receive a hefty fine for endangering themselves and their rescuers, but it is unclear if the drivers attempted to ford an already flooded road or if they were hit with flash flooding.
Either way, they were safely rescued thanks to the Northwest and Golder Ranch Fire Districts.
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