Two Birmingham police officers rescued an unresponsive 87-year-old woman trapped in floodwaters after her vehicle became submerged during the torrential downpour.
The elderly woman was driving home from church at the time when she got stuck in the floodwaters during the height of the storm.
Officer Michael Burnett and Anthony Evans from the Birmingham Police Department were the first on the scene and recounted the dramatic rescue.
“I jumped in the water and started swimming across the water, and he (Evans) jumped off the edge and dove in the water,’’ Burnett recounted.
“I prayed the whole time I was swimming, the whole time I got her out of the water, all night to make sure she was OK,” Burnett said.
Burnett went to the driver’s side and Evan’s went to the passenger’s side of the car.
“I reached in, and I felt her, and I pulled her out,’’ described Burnett. “As I was swimming to the side, he (Evans) checked to make sure that I was alright and then he went to make sure nobody else was in the car.”
Former Birmingham Police Chief Johnnie Johnson, 79, was driving behind the woman who he has known for years to make sure she got home safely when the incident unfolded.
When the two approached a flooded train overpass, the elderly woman did not see the water and drove right into it. Johnson was about to get out of his car when Burnett and Officer Anthony Evans from the Birmingham Police Department took care of things.
“I backed up and was about to go in the water,” Johnson said. “The police officer told me he would do it.”
Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) Battalion Chief Sebastian Carillo described the happy end of the ordeal.
“She was pulled to dry land unresponsive. Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service crews immediately began CPR and transported her to an area hospital. Before we got to the hospital, she was completely revived and conscious and talking to the paramedics on the rescue unit,” he said.
According to AL.com, BFRS made 26 rescues during a single day of severe flooding, which saw some counties receive eight to ten inches of rain.
In Hoover, two people were less fortunate and were killed when their vehicle was swept away by the flood.