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Driver rescued from floodwaters in Roanoke as severe, widespread flooding was reported

‘Stop thinking you can go through this water’

ROANOKE, Va. – One driver had to be rescued from floodwaters in Roanoke on Thursday after heavy rain led to severe flooding in the region.

The Roanoke River completely flooded, submerging parts of the Roanoke River Greenway and several roads, including Bennington St. SE.

Roanoke Fire-EMS officials said that they put signs to block off the street. However, around 10 a.m. one driver drove around the barricades and got stuck in the floodwaters. The driver had to call 911 and Roanoke Fire-EMS crews had to rescue them. They were checked out at the scene and refused to go to the hospital.

Roanoke Fire-EMS posted the video of the rescue on Facebook. Three crew members waded out in the water wearing dry suits and life jackets to rescue that driver. They then gave the driver a life jacket to wear and walked them safely to land.

Another car got stranded in that the same spot due to flooding back in the spring.

One man who lives nearby, Sylvester Joachim, said that people shouldn’t risk their own safety or others.

“Stop thinking you can go through this water because water does not play at all. this is you got to be smarter than that and every time people just they just want to go through it I don’t know why," said Joachim.

“Turn around, don’t drown. Don’t drive around barricades. They’re there for a reason. They’re there to protect you. And also if you can’t find a way home or find a way to work, drive to higher ground, take a few minutes, take an hour and wait for the water to recede. Listen to the radio. Don’t put yourself at risk," said Roanoke Fire-EMS Captain Jeff Peay.

Several roads are still closed. Click here for the latest closures.


About the Author:

Lindsey joined the WSLS 10 team as a reporter in February 2019 and is thrilled to call Roanoke her new home!