KCMO rescue crews spend day helping stranded motorists

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Pouring rain and high water kept metro rescue crews busy Wednesday after several people didn’t heed the warnings to avoid driving through flash floods.

Station 17 of the KCMO Fire Department is home to one of just three specialized rescue teams in the city.

Firefighters on those teams receive special training to be able to work with rescue rigs. They're equipped to save people from dangerous conditions like higher flood waters and fast moving currents, but Wednesday they mostly rescued people who were stranded in flooded cars.

“It was one after another, they were coming in,” firefighter Michael Olmedo said of the flooded cars. “But everything came in so fast that I think it caught a lot of people during that time of driving off guard to where the public was stuck and didn`t know what do and just kept driving.”

Olmedo said what people don't realize when they get out of their stranded cars is that shallow flood waters can wash away the covers to manholes and drains that are capable of sucking a person down into the sewer system and sweep them away in fast-moving water.

“Stop, don’t drive through it,” he advised drivers. “It will go down, just with the rains today, they came and went so fast.”

KCMO firefighters rescued about six different people from their flooded cars Wednesday, and even responded when high water pushed a metro bus off the road.

Luckily, no one was injured in any of the accidents.