MONTROSE, Ill. (WCIA) — Members of the Effingham County Dive-Rescue Team ventured into floodwaters to save a mother and her daughter overnight. Commander Terri Trueblood says it was like a scene out of a movie. “You couldn’t actually see them; you could see just glimpses of the vehicle through brush,” he explained. The team of about seven used this Zodiac boat to reach them.
“We were able to get life jackets on the mother and daughter and then get them extricated into the boat,” said Trueblood. He says it took them a while to get their boat down there because there were a lot of trees and brush in the way. They had to be cautious.
“It’s really about saving your engine and not ranking your propellor up against the roadway. Not a good idea. Or get it caught in trees or stuff like that.” The water was about 5- feet deep and moving quickly.
“The water was well into 5 knots, and that probably doesn’t mean much to very many people, but just to give you an example: somebody who’s in really good shape, in the water, could only hold onto a stationary object at 1.5 knots, for maybe 5 minutes,” he said. Rescuers were able to bring the two to safety, but Trueblood says that situation should serve as a reminder to everyone of just how important it is to be careful on flooded streets.
“If you can’t see it — then the roadway might not be there. It could be washed out because of heavy water and you might just drop off into a sinkhole that’s ten feet deep. You just don’t know.”
The Effingham County Dive-Rescue Team is entirely made up of volunteers. They train for more than 100 hours every year to prepare for situations just like this one.