ST JOSEPH, IL (WCIA/CNN) – Firefighters say one Illinois woman is lucky to be alive after her car got swept away in nearly 4 feet of floodwater.
Even though road signs showed the road was closed, a woman tried to cross a bridge Wednesday morning, and her car got swept away in the water.
Firefighters responded to the scene, but they struggled to find the woman, who was floating away.
"She got swept clear to the end where a bunch of trees and was hanging on to a tree,” Chief Josh Reese said.
Nothing was working, so a firefighter grabbed his personal canoe. Along with a fellow firefighter, he managed to pull the woman to safety after 45 minutes in the water.
"She was conscious, alert and breathing – really cold, really wet, ready to get in and get warmed up,” Reese said.
The woman was taken to the hospital.
Resident Christopher Wright says he’s not surprised by the rescue, in spite of the signs telling drivers to turn around.
"Seems like everybody tries it once a year,” Wright said. "You just kind of wait and see if anybody's actually going to actually try to go across the bridge or not."
Firefighters say the woman was lucky to be rescued from the cold, swift moving water.
Reese says he’s grateful to the two firefighters who paddled out to the victim, but that can’t always be the case.
"We can’t put our guys at risk and get them swept away too if we don't have the equipment to safely get out there to them,” Reese said.
Late Wednesday evening, the woman’s car was still stuck under water.St. Joseph - Stanton Fire Protection District
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Source : http://www.kfvs12.com/story/37564382/firefighter-uses-personal-canoe-to-rescue-woman-caught-in-floodwater