So this pic just popped up on CNN.com about the flooding going on in Texas. It is almost exactly like a low water crossing just west of Austin that I used to conduct swift water rescues at when I was a volunteer firefighter in the ‘90s.
It’s currently raining like hell here in Houston and has been for most of the afternoon/evening. There are other parts of the state that have received over 20” of rainfall, and I’m pretty sure a few Opponauts/Jalops in South Texas who live in areas that have received flooding (and I hope/pray that they are ALL safe, every one of you, like it or not).
Let’s, for a second, go back to the picture that shows adults LEADING CHILDREN INTO AN ACTIVE LOW WATER CROSSING. Here’s a neat story for you: One Friday evening, in 1994 I believe, I was toned out (I was a volunteer firefighter, remember?) the night before my SAT to a swift water rescue scenario at the spot I’m referencing. Since I lived very close to the location, I was first on scene. The water was just about a foot higher than what it is in the pic. There were two cars in the water sliding towards the drop off embankment that you can’t see to the right as presented to you. The occupants of both cars had climbed onto the roofs of their vehicles.
The fire engine was second to arrive shortly afterwards. We threw them a rope and helped each person (three total) to safety. Shortly afterwards, the cars were swept down stream as the water increased in both volume and speed (it was raining like a MF that night and had just begun it’s downpour at the time). The next day, on my way home from the SAT (I scored an 1100 out of 1600, which I was unhappy with), I saw one of the cars, a light blue Probe, in a tree. Not at the base of the tree, but 10 feet up a god damned tree. That’s how high the water was just on the other side of the road.
Let me clarify something: I’m not fishing for compliments or for someone to say that I’m some kind of “hometown hero”. If I wasn’t there, the engine crew would have pulled them to safety regardless. What I AM saying is DO NOT GO NEAR LOW WATER CROSSINGS WITH WATER ON THEM IN YOUR EFFING CAR AND CERTAINLY NOT WITH YOUR CHILDREN ON FOOT. That water is actually going through there pretty quickly, and if little Johnny or Jill trips and falls, they are potentially being carried down stream into a mess of debris, rocks, trees, undercurrents, and death. I’ll say that last part again. DEATH.
Water across roadways are situations to be taken seriously. They are a real dangers and certainly not “hold on, watch this!” scenarios. Instead, avoid them. Steer clear of them. Find another route. Please do not tempt fate and try to cross them, regardless of whether you think you can make it across or not.
Post this to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or just email it to a friend. If it saves a life, it’s worth it. Thank you.
Photo courtesy of cnn.com