“…I realized it was a life or death situation.”
On Sunday, heavy rain led to flash floods in St. Louis, Missouri. A flash flood is the most dangerous type of flood, due to the high-speed torrents of water involved.
Catherine Ke, 18, experienced the sudden horrors of this weather-induced natural disaster while driving to her boyfriend’s house in St. Louis on Sunday. She documented the incident on video so she could share it with the TikTok community and hopefully show her insurance company what happened.
“I was driving on the road, and I couldn’t see the flood at all, or else I would have turned around and gone back,” Catherine told BuzzFeed. “My car engine turned off and the battery was still on and I started hydroplaning. Then the water started coming in, and my first thought was to get out of the car and walk to the non-flooded part of the street.”
“Then the current kept pulling me farther and farther from the street, so I hung onto a tree and called 911,” Catherine said.
“There was a lot going on in my head,” she said. “At first I was worried about my wallet being lost, but then I realized it was a life or death situation. I realized I needed to stay calm and call 911 immediately.”
After some failed rescue attempts — including one by her mother whose car also got flooded — Catherine was finally saved by a boat. Thankfully, she didn’t sustain any injuries except for a slightly bruised arm.
If you ever find yourself in a flash flood while driving a vehicle, there are a few things you can do. First and foremost, don’t drive through a flooded road or bridge. Try to find a route on higher ground.
If your car is surrounded by water, get out of it and find higher ground. And if you’re stranded in a building or tree like Catherine, don’t leave it to go into the water. Stay put and wait for rescuers like Catherine did.
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