Man reacts to water rescue

Local News

SAINT JOSEPH, Ill. (WCIA) — A Danville man is all right after he was rescued from flood water near Saint Joseph.

The story was first reported Monday night on WCIA, but he wants to thank first responders and remind everyone to “turn around, don’t drown.”

“And, so I was driving. I hit a little bit of water, and I thought ‘it’s fine, I’ll keep going,’ but it went all over my windshield, and I couldn’t see anything. So, I kept going a little bit, and then I just had to stop, because the vehicle wasn’t wanting to go anywhere,” Leo Songer said.

Leo Songer says he’s breathing a sigh of relief after he was rescued from a flooded road in Champaign County.

“When I was sitting in the vehicle, I looked around, and realized just how much water there was. It was so loud, it sounded like I was sitting in the middle of a river,” Songer said.

Songer said he was taking a different route to work and must not have noticed the warning signs when he was suddenly stuck in the rushing water. With no way out, he called 911 for help.

“It took them a little bit, because they had to bring the specialists in. It was pretty fast water. It wasn’t really safe for them to get out in it. They got me in a raft and checked me out, and everything was all right,” Songer said.

First responders acted fast, and they brought in a team to rescue Songer from his vehicle. He says that’s something he’ll never forget.

“They followed all the protocol they were supposed to, and I’m grateful they got me out and got everything taken care of,” Songer said.

Songer says he wants his experience to remind people to stay alert as waterways are expected to crest this week.

“If there’s water moving across the road, it’s probably best to just go on a different route and not even try risking it. If I had seen the water, I would have turned around and gone a different direction,” Songer said.

Songer says he’s in good spirits. He said he’s just happy he wasn’t hurt, and crews were able to pull his pick-up truck from the water on Tuesday. Even though Central Illinois hasn’t experienced as much rain as Sunday, many waterways are still expected to crest. So, if you see water on the road, make sure to turn around and don’t drown.

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