Heavy rain leaves cars stuck and partially submerged

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – About three inches of rain quickly made several roads dangerous throughout Hamilton County Thursday.

The Carmel Fire Department got four water rescue calls in a one hour span Thursday morning. None of them turned out to be serious and nobody was hurt.

Two drivers guessed wrong when they tried navigating a flooded section of 3rd Avenue north of Gradle Drive. But you didn’t have to be on the road to be soaked with problems.

“You can tell by my pant leg about how deep it was,” said Jason Romain as he pointed to the wet dividing line just about his knee.

His pants were drenched after he fished his car out of the flooded parking lot at Delta Faucet.

“As soon as we got wind that cars were starting to flood, we sent out a mass email to everybody telling them it was urgent,” said property manager Doug Burnett.

“They came into the meeting and said ‘you better come out now and they were right,’” Romain said.

Some rolled up their sleeves and pants to salvage their cars, but others preferred to keep their dress clothes dry. Ricky Cai opted not to wade in the water.

“I was going to do it, but he’s the big helper of the day,” Cai said.

The big helper he mentioned was Eric Magnuson, who, thanks to his workout attire, was able to give several of the business folk a helping hand before retrieving his partially submerged car.

“It was close, a couple more inches and it would have been flowing in,” Magnuson said with a smile.

Romain wasn’t so lucky. The water crept high enough to fill his car with a few inches of water. Another car in the lot had water as high as the door handle, but the owner was out of town.

“Unfortunately, I believe she’s away on business in Chicago. She’s been notified,” said Burnett. “She’s on her way back from Chicago.”

Burnett said the parking lot has never flooded this badly before. He has a hunch on what might have caused it, but he’d rather have an engineer check the grounds and drains near the lot first.

As for the flooded roads, the Carmel Fire Department is warning everyone that even though the water has receded, it’s likely to return. More rain is expected Thursday night, and since the ground is already saturated, they say it’s possible the flood waters could be even higher.

Another problem they encountered was during a rescue. They’re warning people not to wait for a “road closed” sign before trying to find another route.

“We had people going around the fire apparatus, going right through the thick water while we were helping someone out of their car so it’s just very frustrating. Plus, it’s dangerous for us because we can’t be stopping traffic when we’re out there helping the victims,” said CFD Fire Marshal Bruce Knott.

The Associated Press reports two sisters, ages 88 and 95, were rescued after one of them drove around a barricade and the vehicle became stalled on flooded Indiana 26 near Hartford City on Thursday. The women were treated for mild hypothermia.

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