As many of you are probably aware (some of you probably all too keenly!), here in the Midwestern U.S., last week brought severe storms and flooding. We were fortunate in that other than a sleepless night, we didn’t sustain any damage. Many of our neighbors weren’t so lucky. This morning I found an interesting flood rescue story in my e-mail. It came from our local police chief through a neighborhood watch mailing list and he’s given me permission to reprint it along with the photographs.
…Many strange flood stories have emerged, I just have to share one with you. On Saturday afternoon, I had just finished a twelve hour day that started with the Calumet River levy being breached close to the new Cabela’s store.Â At three p.m., I was up on the I-80/94 Ramp over Indianapolis Boulevard surveying the damage. The boulevard was closed off so it was quiet and peaceful up there, no cars.Â
Â Three females and a male were walking up the ramp and stopped to speak with me.Â They stated that they had left their car in the parking lot of the Amerihost Hotel overnight and they wanted to go back and retrieve it.Â I asked them if it was a black Chevrolet Equinox and they said yes.Â Early in the day we had State Auto and Towing remove forty-six cars from the Amerihost parking lot and I knew there was only one car left.Â A black Equinox with water up to the windows.Â
When I told them that there car was still in the lot but filled with water, the girls (in their early twenties) began crying hysterically. They then told me something I had never heard before–“Our deceased father is in the back seat of the car.”Â
I had to do a double take, and asked them again what they were talking about.Â One of the girls stated that their father had recently passed away, and one of the last things he did was buy the Chevy for his oldest daughter.Â When he died, they had him cremated and his ashes were in an urn, in the flooded back seat of the car.
I called State Auto on my radio and they sent out a tow truck.Â Donald Kalina, who is our Chief of Emergency Management (a volunteer unpaid position) was the tow driver that responded.Â He attempted to get back to the Chevy in his tow truck, but because of the high water, he was unable to get close enough to the car for extraction.Â When he was advised that the girls’ father’s remains were in the backseat of the vehicle, Don offered to wade into the chest-deep, sewage-filled water, to retrieve the urn.
The girls were incredibly relieved and thankful for Don’s selfless act. If anyone ever tells you that there are very few heroes left in the world, please pass on this story…Â Â
Chief Brian MillerÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â