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Rural Metro prepares for swift-water rescues

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 11:47 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With flash flood concerns throughout the weekend, local fire agencies are preparing for swift-water rescues.

Rural Metro Fire Department says they’ve already seen over 20 rescues this year. It takes about 18 inches of fast moving water, less than two feet, to sweep away a vehicle. It only takes six inches of water to carry away an adult.

Rural Metro says most of their swift-water rescue calls happen at night when it can be difficult to see, so they made preparations during the day.

“What our crews are doing is they are pre-planning during the daytime hours, looking at these washes, looking for better access points, also identifying the hazards we might encounter when we go on these rescues at night,” John Walka, the Rural Metro Battalion Chief, says.

Chief Walka adds that flooded roadways can be deceiving. You never know how deep the water really is until it is too late. If you see flooded wash that isn’t blocked off, it is always best to find another route.

And of course remember, turn around, don’t drown.

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