A woman driving on Old Foamy Road early Thursday morning is reported to be OK after her car was caught in moving water.
At 5:04 a.m., the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office received a report of water over the roadway at Old Foamy Road and South Main Street. At that time, precinct workers were contacted and were en route to secure the high-water gates.
Before they were able to arrive, a 911 call came in at 5:35 a.m. from a woman who indicated her vehicle was swept off the road by water and she was afraid to move for fear she might be swept away.
About five minutes later, officers with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office located the woman and observed her minivan pivoting over the edge of the bridge with the rear of the van closest to the bridge, according to reports.
As the Rio Vista Fire Department was arriving with their water-rescue team, the two deputies waded through the water to the van.
JCSO deputy Kyle Graham opened the rear hatch and both he and deputy Dominique Stimson were able to extract the woman from the vehicle and escort her to dry land.
“We usually don’t do swift-water rescues, because the fire departments have the training and equipment to do that,” Johnson County Sheriff Adam King said. “But, the circumstances required that we do that because the water was rising so fast.
“The deputies were fearful that by the time the fire department got there it might be too late. They were scared the lady might be swept off the bridge into the flowing creek. With it coming up so fast, they felt they had to go ahead and wade out there are get her and I’m glad they did.”
The victim sustained no injuries.
“Everything was OK, other than probably the total loss of her vehicle,” King said. “I’m very proud that they took swift action and got her out of the car.”
Turn around, don’t drown
Although the rain had nearly stopped by the time water was rising around Old Foamy Road, it had been raining off an on for a few days.
Gayle White of Cleburne — who has an official weather gauge from NBC DFW — measured 1.02 inches of rain between 8 a.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday.
Johnson County Emergency Management Director Jamie Moore said drivers need to be extra cautious in rural parts of Johnson County where roads are not lit.
“If it’s been raining for a few days, drivers are likely to run into a low-water crossing and will not have much reaction time to stop before they go into the water,” he said. The key is to be aware of your surroundings. When it has rained for a few days and it’s dark out, reduce your speed so if you encounter a low-water crossing you have time to stop and react.”
King said deputies do not carry swift-water rescue equipment in their patrol vehicles.
“I would love to have some rescue-type equipment like that in all the vehicles,” he said. “The commissioners have been very responsive to us about any requests we’ve had, and that would definitely be something I will take up with them probably next budget year. I think that would be some good equipment to have — some lines, life vests and things like that — because the deputies have been called in to that kind of situation quite a bit over the last few years.
“The reality of it is that sometimes they are going to beat the fire department there and be first on scene. Sometimes there is not time to wait.”