Stamford firefighters were kept on the run rescuing residents in flooded vehicles late Thursday afternoon through the evening after a line of heavy thunderstorms rolled through the area causing extensive flooding.
The Stamford 911 Center began receiving calls at 4:54 p.m. Thursday, for people trapped in flooded cars at the intersection of East Main Street and Myrtle Avenue, underneath the Railroad underpass, said Stamford Fire Capt. Philip Hayes.
An engine and truck company were immediately dispatched. On arrival, firefighters found three cars under the railroad bridge, submerged up to the vehicle's windows, Hayes said.
Crews wearing Mustang Water Rescue Suits entered the flood waters and used pike poles and ropes to reach submerged vehicles. Four victims were rescued and led to safety, he added.
Shortly after, Engine 4 was dispatched to the area of the Elm Street railroad overpass for the same thing. On arrival, the crew found numerous cars continuing to pass through the flood area despite seeing other cars underwater, Hayes said.
The captain and two members of Engine 4 rescued occupants from three cars under water, while the driver of Engine 4 attempted to block traffic on Elm Street. During the rescue, several drivers decided to challenge the flooding waters despite the shouts of firefighters, several became flooded.
Two members of Engine 4, waded in the rising flood waters to check on three cars submerged under the railroad underpass. One occupant was rescued and waded safely to awaiting emergency crews on the other side of the railroad bridge. The other occupants were able to save themselves, Hayes added.
The Stamford Fire Department is reminding residents that countless hazards are posed by attempts to drive through flooded roadways, including drowning.
Other hazards include causing significant damage to your vehicle, sewage mixing with flood waters, crashes from lack of vision, and causing a danger to first responders trying to rescue others.
"Passing through flood waters when rescue operations are being conducted can significantly impede rescue efforts and pose a significant personal risk to firefighters and other rescue personnel working in the area," Hayes said.
Hayes said luckily, no one was injured during Thursday's rescues.
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