Roanoke city E-911 managers are reminding people they can go to the city's website or sign up for the city's email alerts after being inundated with calls on Wednesday during the flash flood that hit parts of the city's northwest section.
City neighbors can sign up for email at the city's website: www.roanokeva.gov
E-911 managers said some people tied up lines during the flood by calling for such reasons as asking for directions around flooded areas.
Some people would also call, let the phone ring a few times, then hang up thinking it wouldn't be answered.
Roanoke City E-911 training officer Melissa Page said to let the phone ring when you call in. She said the call would eventually be answered.
Page said emergency dispatchers have no way of knowing when a caller hangs up, costing value time to answer a line with nobody on the other end of it.
Emergency dispatchers all call people back who've had 911 hang ups.
Verbatims of a few of the calls the Roanoke city emergency dispatch had yesterday during the flood are below:
Dispatcher: "Is it a red car ma'am? Because I got a report it was a red car that was flooded."
Caller: "Yes ma'am."
Dispatcher: "Is that the car?"
Caller: "Yes ma'am."
Dispatcher: "Okay. So that is the car. Do we know if anybody is in that car ma'am?
Caller: "Nobody ever got out. I [saw] this person trying to drive up but she never got out."
Caller: "There is bad flooding and rushing water on Prillaman Avenue. There's cars stuck in the water.
Dispatcher: "Prillaman? Where?"
Caller: "An elderly woman that drove through Hershberger and Ferncliff and her car is stuck in the middle of the road."
Caller: "And she's in it."
Dispatcher: "Alright. Is she stuck in the flood waters sir?"
Caller: "She's stuck in flood water yes ma'am."
Caller: "Yeah. Y'all might want to get an officer up here to the corner of Hershberger and Cove and direct traffic because I'm telling you it is one big mess. There's no light up here in either direction."
Caller: "There are cars floating. There are people in trouble out here."
Dispatcher: "Okay. They're floating in the parking lot. B-dubs. Old Navy. I know what you're talking about. Have they been hitting each other?"
Caller: "No. They've not been hitting each other. But I'm talking about cars with water up past their head lights and I saw a little kid and a mom out walking. They abandoned their vehicle."