Contact: Captain John Metz
Duty PIO Pager 573-441-6608 (For Active Emergency Incidents - Leave detailed message)
Office 573-874-7644 (M-F, 8-5)
At 9:19 a.m. Friday, May 31, 2013, the Columbia Fire Department responded to a water rescue at 3006 Northland Drive in north Columbia. The adult female occupant of the home at 3006 Northland Drive stated her house was surrounded by rising water and needed help to safely leave the residence. Bear Creek, which crosses under Northland Drive near the residence, was rain-swollen and out of its banks as a result of the heavy rains.
Columbia firefighters arrived on the scene and deployed an inflatable Zodiac rescue boat to reach the residence. Firefighters were challenged by the depth of the flood waters which ranged from a few inches to several feet, depending on the terrain. Firefighters reached the residence, placed a life jacket on the women, loaded her and some belongings into the boat and moved her approximately 150' to safety. The evacuation took approximately twenty-five minutes. Two fire engines, a rescue squad, and a rescue boat responded to the incident.
After the evacuation was completed, fire crews checked the other nearby residences and found no one else needing rescue. As the boat crew was returning to the launch point, their boat motor experienced a mechanical failure and the crew drifted downstream approximately 100'. After a few minutes the crew was able to restart the motor and return to shore.
At the same time as this incident, Columbia Fire and Boone County Fire units also rescued an adult male who's car became stranded in flood waters near the intersection of Old Plank Road and Forum Blvd. "We have had about nine storm related calls so far today" Columbia Fire Captain John Metz said. "Additional heavy rain is forecasted for tonight. Residents should be aware of local conditions, heed special weather statements and never drive through flooded roadways" Metz said.