High water strands people in homes and cars

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The rain fell so hard and so fast Tuesday night, people in one Richmond neighborhood had to be rescued from their homes by boat. Many others around the city were trapped in their cars by high water.

It was a messy and dangerous night. NBC12 crews drove just about two miles from the station on the Southside and it took almost 45 minutes to get to a trailer park that at one point was virtually underwater. That's because drivers hit road block after road block caused by this storm.

Some of the most dramatic scenes we captured included people who had to be rescued from vehicles that took on water, which was covering the roads. Emergency crews responded to dozens of calls for people stranded in these dangerous situations.

We also saw many trees fallen over, some on top of cars. Power lines were spread across the roadway.

Richmond Fire responded to a dramatic scene at a trailer park near Semmes Avenue. We're told at its highest point water rose to 7ft. The fire department actually had to use the boats it normally employs for river rescues on the James to get people out of their trailers.

Five people were rescued.

"The water rose extremely quickly, even more so than Gaston," said Joseph Gahan.

'We tried to get everything together," explained Katherine Gahan. "I tried to get my medicine and we couldn't find anything because the electricity was out. So we couldn't see. We were just trying to get what we needed. Everything was kind of hectic. The trailer is totally flooded: the carpet, the floor, everything. We'll probably have to get rid of it."

It was electric outside for quite some time. Richmond Police, Fire and Ambulance Authority worked nonstop all night. We saw them responding to calls and blocking roads that were too dangerous for cars.

Also, there were a lot of street lights out so it was difficult to see the hazards.

Emergency crews advise people to stay inside if at all possible. Even though the storm passed through, dangerous situations could continue into the morning.

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