Over the weekend firefighters had to pull a Cleveland man out of his car when it became stuck in a flash flood. The swift water rescue happened under the bridge near the intersection of Inman and Edwards Streets downtown.
"The water came up so incredibly fast that [in] another minute or two the car would have been completely submerged," says firefighter Zach Jaggers.
The July 1st rescue was only his third of this kind in Jagger's nine years with the department. He says the driver, who was the only person in the car, might have drowned if only another few minutes had passed.
"The water was up over the steering wheel and he was standing in the passenger seat," recalls Jaggers. "He was definitely ready to get out of the car. He was happy to see us."
At one point the water was chest high on the firefighters. They were able to break a window and pull the man to safety.
The man who was rescued doesn't want to be identified. He told us on Facebook he was stuck behind several cars at a red light and the water wasn't deep. Then it rose very quickly and his car battery died. Thankfully, he was able to call 911 from his cell phone.
Firefighters responded immediately and were only a few blocks away. The rescue was a team effort.
"We had four firefighters in the water and we had a safety officer at command and some downstream throwbacks," says Jaggers.
He also says these types of rescues don't happen often, but when they do they're challenging and risky because of the way the water behaves.
"It was flowing in from both sides. So it was more of a rapid movement as far as it getting deeper than it was moving from one direction to the other," Jaggers explains.
It's a risk he and the other brave firefighters don't mind facing.
"We hope he's okay. We're glad we were able to be in the right place at the right time," adds Jaggers.
The man who was rescued says he's extremely grateful to the firefighters for saving his life. He was shaken up a bit but not injured.