Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman Stranded in Drainage Flume Calls 911 as Water Rapidly Rises: 'I'm About to Be Swept Away'


A lot of people who get themselves into tricky situations are hesitant to ask for help, and often passers-by or other people who spot the person in distress will call it in themselves.

But one woman in Oklahoma City realized she was in over her head on Monday when the water level in a drainage flume she was in started to rise, rapidly, and she couldn’t get out.

So she called 911 and explained her predicament. For some reason, she was stuck near a tunnel close to NW 39th and Youngs, off I-44.

“You know, Oklahoma,” Captain Scott Douglas of the Oklahoma City Fire Department told KFOR-TV. “The rains, they came so quick and rose real fast.”

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Douglas continued to say the woman herself was calling and “notifying us, you know, ‘The water’s rising quickly, I feel like I’m about to be swept away.'”

Police with the Oklahoma Police Department arrived on the scene first and were able to send out a life jacket and safety rope to keep her tethered.

“They threw her a life jacket. They also threw her a lifeline, so they tied her off quickly,” Douglas said.

Firefighters soon arrived and assisted in bringing the woman to safety. The Oklahoma City Fire Department posted about the rescue on Facebook.

“Fire crews responded to a water rescue this morning,” their post from Monday read. “An adult female was stranded in a water drainage flume. With the rainstorms rolling through, the water level was rapidly rising.

“The victim told dispatchers she was about to be swept away by the swift water. Great job by Oklahoma City Police Department for their quick action! They provided a life jacket and safety rope for the victim.

“Firefighters arrived on scene and put their technical rescue skills to work. Fire crews lowered a firefighter into the water drainage flume, harnessed the victim, and pulled her to safety.

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“Great team effort from dispatch, OCPD, EMSA, and OKC Fire. The adult female was rescued and transported to a local hospital for further treatment.”

Many community members commented to thank the first responders by name, and Douglas recognized them for skills, which they are constantly developing.

“They train for this every day, and this was an opportunity to show what they do,” he said.

“A lot of people do underestimate that, you know, just a little bit of water has so much power. It’s … it’s easy to underestimate. That’s why these are very, very dangerous. People want to seek shelter in them, but just even a foot or two of water, you can get swept away very quickly.”

Authorities are not sure why the woman was in that precarious place to begin with, but they did take the opportunity to encourage people to seek better, safer forms of shelter during storms.

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