Monday, September 21, 2009
A fireman rescued us today
I live in Tulsa, which has been recognized for 20+ years for it's flood retention actions...since a major flood in the early 80s, Tulsa has been proactive about low-lying areas. Nevertheless, when the rain comes down as heavy and fast as it did today, flash flooding still occurs. It never fails to flash flood under the highway overpasses, and in several key intersections. I wasn't too concerned on my way to pick up Trenton from school, but the rain got heavier as I approached his school 4 miles from our house. We tried to take our normal route home, but 1/4 mile into it, the fire dept. had the street blocked off. We turned around and tried the way I had come. Good going for 2 miles, then another firetruck had the street blocked. We went another mile further and out of our way. We got a little closer, but then had to pull into a park to wait it out awhile...the water was deep and still pouring..I could barely see! Plus, Garrett was screaming to be nursed. After 30 minutes, we tried again. By this time it had been about an hour and a half, and we got to another spot where the water was much deeper. As I turned onto the main road 1 mile from home, I realized there would be no further for us...the water was already to the top of the curb, and at least a dozen cars were stuck in every direction out of the intersection. I tried to go, but I kept hearing 'Turn Around, Don't Drown' (thx Trinity)playing in my head...have you ever seen the commercials? My dad knew we had not made it home, so he and my brother were out(in a truck..lucky!) looking for us...they called my cell and said to just go...'other cars are making it'...but I couldn't do it..I couldn't put my children in danger any further than I already had. When I tried going a little further, I could feel the car starting to float. I wasn't sure how deep the water was behind me, or across the median, and there were cars stuck behind me, beside me. I was in tears by this point. I broke down and called 911...I told the dispatcher that I knew that several cars were stuck with me, but that I had a baby and another child with me and that it was dire that we get out fast..I admitted that I felt like we were in trouble if we didn't get out soon. Seconds later several firetrucks arrived...a nice younf fireman helped get the cars behind me to back up, then suggested I do the same. Uh-uh...not me! I asked him to drive my car, which he did. He took us safely back and across to a gas station parking lot so we could wait it out. I am so grateful to the emergency personnel that responded...I feel like an idiot for getting into trouble...I knew not to drive through it, which is why I stopped..it just happens that I couldn't back up or turn around where I was..I was so terrified I would make it worse... Right before we got stuck, I had just messaged my husband that we were having trouble getting home, and then for a split second, I thought that maybe I should pull into the next parking lot and wait...but I didn't...I thought we could do it...we were 1 mile from home. I sit here typing this, on the verge of tears, holding Garrett close on my chest...I think I'm a little traumatized about what could have happened...how lucky we are! Tulsa Fire Department: Thank you, thank you, thank you!