Motorist trapped by flash flood

Published 10:04 pm Friday, December 18, 2009

A motorist was stranded for at least one hour Friday morning after attempting to drive over a flooded roadway in north Chilton County.

About noon, rescue officials found a male driver on top of a Chevrolet SUV near County Road 151, or Old Harkins Road, near Jemison.

The vehicle had drifted several yards from the road.

“He said he passed through that road quite often, and he didn’t think the water was that high,” said Bill Collum, director of Chilton County Emergency Management.

Rescuers first attempted to reach the site through County Road 800 but could not gain access. As the waters began to recede, two divers with the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit put on wet suits and hooked a wrecker cable to the vehicle, pulling it out of the water.

The man, reportedly from Alabaster, was rescued without injury.

“We were lucky in this incident to not have anyone injured,” Sheriff Kevin Davis said.

Other responding agencies included North Chilton Fire Department, West Chilton Fire Department, Union Grove Fire Department, Chilton County Rescue Squad, State Troopers, and RPS Ambulance.

Also, the Calera Swift Water Rescue Team and the state rescue helicopter were on standby.

“This is a good opportunity to remind people to turn around, don’t drown,” Collum said, warning motorists not to underestimate the depth and power of flood waters over a roadway.

As of Friday afternoon, a portion of County Road 151 remained closed.