High water strands two drivers but help arrives in time

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Quickly rising water nearly swallowed up some Tri-state drivers Tuesday. In two cases, the people behind the wheel needed help to get to dry land.

Around 8:30 a.m., a Cincinnati Sanitation worker was driving on the west side of town, answering some customers calls when he turned onto a flooded road at the intersection of Sunset Avenue and Guerley.

"There was a car that had gone into the water - it was flooded," said Chris Callahan. "I almost followed her in. But I stopped, backed my car up, and got out to see if they were OK. I was hoping to find a large burly man who could swim out on his own. Unfortunately it was a little old lady. She said she needed help."

Keeping his work cell phone above water, he went into the cold wet mess and fished out the driver.  He said once she was out, the car's electrical system started to short out, and the water continued rising.  He says he didn't do anything heroic. But it was clear to him, the woman could not have gotten out on her own.

Cincinnati Police pulled up, and drove the woman home.  Callahan went back to work.

Hours later, across town on Wooster Pike, Brenda Belcamino didn't know it, but she would be the second woman rescued from high water that day.

"It didn't look like it was that much so I started going through and it stalled," said Belcamino. "There was at least three to four foot of water because it went all the way up into my car. It was not pleasant. I didn't even have my cell phone with me today. So I had to borrow a cell phone to get some help. The fire department came and carried me out of the car."

Belcamino was grateful for the help, and said she'd think twice now about driving into water, "Yes. Live and learn."

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