ST. PETERS (KMOV) – Heavy rain and subway flooding this week have seen many stuck in their cars, begging for help. Fire departments responded to the calls, saving people’s lives.
Debris covers a fence and a bridge on Mexico City Road in St. Louis. Peters in Spencer Creek. The flood raised the water level in the creek so high that it covered part of the road.
St. Peters resident Bruce Dwyer drives down Mexico City Road every day to work at Menards. As he drove to work at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, it was dark outside and it was hard to see how much water covered the road.
“That’s something I don’t wish on anyone,” Dwyer says. “That water gushed down the road so fast.”
Dwyer says he didn’t realize it until it was too late.
“I said I don’t know, I don’t like it,” says Dwyer. “I’m betting the other way around. By that time, a rush of water should have come in. He lifted the back of the truck, and a few seconds later the truck was blown into the air.”
Dwyer says his car was quickly swept away by the floodwaters. That’s when he called 911 and dispatchers told Dwyer that he needed to find a way out of the car.
“I said you need to contact my wife because I thought I was going to die,” says Dwyer.
Luckily, he remembered that he had towing equipment under the back seat of the truck, allowing him to open the window and get out.
Dwyer sat on the roof of his car while waiting for rescuers to arrive.
“I have to thank the 911 guy and the lifeguard who risked his life to pick me up,” Dwyer says. “911 was able to pinpoint my location where the rescuers knew where to put in to come after me.”
For firefighters, it’s part of the job.
The Maplewood Fire Department says it received about 30 water rescue calls Tuesday.
Assistant chief Matt Wilcox says the department’s annual training prepares them for such events.
“If you need to get someone out of the car, you think about how to do it safely,” says assistant chief Wilcox. “How to get them FPD. How to access the car. How to safely get them out of the car and back on shore.”
Through training, the crews were able to save the lives of these community members. Assistant Chief Wilcox says one of the things he jumped into was flood water to save a woman in Maplewood who was trying to drive through it.
“When we were pulling her out, the car was flooded with water and started to sink,” says assistant chief Wilcox. “We were able to pull her out when the car sank, and then passers-by pulled us ashore.”
After nearly two hours in the water, Dwyer was treated in the hospital for hypothermia. He is now at home recovering from cuts and bruises.
However, Dwyer says it was the psychological stress that did the trick.
“I still have nightmares about it,” says Dwyer. “To be locked in this truck, to see the water crash down on me, knowing that I had a few minutes left to live.”
News 4 is working on finding a dispatcher and rescuers in St. Petersburg. Charles County, who helped save Dwyer on Tuesday. After calls to St. We were told at the Peter Police Department that they took the first call to help Dwyer, but ended up transferring him to St. Charles County Fire Department and Wentzville ER.
According to St. Peter’s police and dispatchers in Wentzville helped Dwyer escape.
Dwyer says he is grateful to be alive and able to spend another day with his family.
“We need to appreciate what we have because I almost lost it,” says Dwyer. “I’m just glad someone looked after me so I could get through this and be here again today.”
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