Abilene Fire Department worried rain will cause more water rescues


ABILENE,Texas - Rain is in the forecast for this week, and that has the Abilene Fire Department worried.

Last week AFD responded to 10 water rescues, in half of those cases they actually had to rescue people from their vehicles.

"It's frustrating," Lt. Mike Miller with the Abilene Fire Department said.

Miller is worried the additional rainfall will lead to more water rescue calls. He said those types of calls put the department in a bind.

"We have 11 pieces of equipment, so if we're out on four or five rescues, that ties up equipment we could use if someone has a heart attack, or if there is an actual vehicle accident or structure fire," Miller said.

To gauge how high flood water is, there are flood gauges around Abilene. They are about 6ft tall but Miller said it takes a lot less to create a dangerous situation.

"If you are getting close to one foot of water you definitely don't want to go through that."

Miller said water rescues are not only a stressful situation for drivers, but also for the firefighters rescuing them. Miller is asking all drivers to avoid high water and to follow the saying, "Turn around, don't drown."

"We're not only having to respond to your call but we're also putting a fire fighter in danger when they get into the water," Miller said.

According to the National Weather Service more than half of all flooding deaths each year occur in vehicles.

Drivers who are caught driving around barricade used to close a flooded road could be face a fine up to $500.

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