Halifax County rescuers saved a woman and two children from a potentially deadly situation today.
From the Halifax County Emergency Services Office…
The Halifax County Office of Emergency Services is urging citizens not to attempt to cross flooded roadways and to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” after a very close call for a local family. At approximately 2:30 PM today, emergency responders were dispatched to Black Walnut Road (Hwy. 600) for a vehicle in high water with trapped occupants.
On arrival responders found a small Chevrolet pick-up truck with three occupants, identified as Jessica Anderson and two small children, stranded approximately 160 feet from dry land. According to Anderson, she had attempted to cross the flooded Black Walnut Creek because did not believe the water to be deep. Anderson drove the feeling approximately 200 200 yards until the vehicle stalled in about 3 feet of water.
Responders from Clover, Triangle, and South Boston Fire Departments, Halifax County Rescue Squad and Halifax County Emergency Services were dispatched to the scene. The trio was stranded for approximately 30 minutes before being rescued. Utilizing a nonmotorized boat, two responders made their way to the vehicle and were able to rescue the 3 occupants who suffered no injuries.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood waters. The next highest
percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. Many believe their 3,000 to 5,000 pound vehicle will remain in contact with the road surface and are too heavy to float. This belief is false as most vehicles will become buoyant and can be swept away in 18 to 24 inches of moving water. Trucks and SUVs are not much better with only six to twelve inches of additional clearance.
In moving water all that is required for a vehicle to be swept away is for the vehicle to become buoyant enough to allow the water’s force to push it sideways. This can occur even if the tires remain in contact with the pavement. The danger of being swept away includes attempts to walk or wade through flowing water. As little as six inches can sweep an adult off their feet and carry them downstream.
The solution is simple. Turn around, Don’t drown. Stay out of flooded areas. The water may be much deeper then it appears as the ground or roadway may have been washed away. Also respect “road closed” barriers posted to warn you of the danger.
VSP Trooper K. Martin is investigating the incident. According to VDOT officials, the area of the incident was properly marked with road closure signs and barrels. A total of 12 emergency responders, one fire truck from Clover Fire Department, 2 ambulances and a rescue vehicle from Halifax County Rescue Squad, Halifax County Ladder Truck and the Halifax County Emergency Services Coordinator.
Here are some photos from today’s rescue operation…
Thanks go to the Halifax County Emergency Services office for this information!