Alabama Man’s Car Swept Into Drainage Ditch by Floodwaters, First Responders Fear He Died

by Michael Freeman

Alabama was recently hit by flash floods deep enough for locals to be able to swim and surf the waters. Though his status is unknown, the floodwaters swept a man’s car into a drainage ditch and he cannot be located.

A man’s SUV was sucked into a drainage ditch in Tuscaloosa yesterday afternoon and first responders fear he died. A passerby noticed the man and his car disappear underwater, then dialed 911. Though first responders found what was left of his SUV and pulled it from the water, the 40-year-old driver was nowhere to be seen. Unfortunately, he still has not been named by local officials and rescuers continue to try to find him.

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith reported nearly half of the department is searching for the driver. The search range spans a mile and a half radius from where the SUV was located. Unfortunately, efforts ceased last night and have continued into today. Smith told WBRC about the search and why they had to suspend it until today.

“We’ve had crews walk the tracks, we had crews with police and fire walking through the woods, it’s just gotten to the point where it’s starting to get dark and starting to get more hazardous too so we are suspending the search until we can do it a little bit better.”

Sadly, this is just a portion of what’s going on in Alabama. Tuscaloosa police said between 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. yesterday they received 105 calls about weather-related trouble. The National Weather Service said storms are expected to continue today, with 2.5 to 3 inches of water having already fallen.

New Jersey Farmer Saves Man With Tractor During Ida Flooding

A similar flooding situation happened in New Jersey during Hurricane Ida. A man found himself stranded by floodwaters with his car. However, this story has a happier ending, with a New Jersey farmer saving the man with his tractor.

Richard Peek was the man in question, coming to meet a friend he met online to give him a custom banjo. After getting stranded by floodwaters, Peek called his friend, Wesley Pandy, to tell him he was stuck. Pandy was nearby and after boarding his trusty tractor, came to his friend’s aid, rescuing him.

Peek streamed the event to his YouTube page and recounted a phone call he had with Pandy. “He says if I have to I’ll bring a big tractor and pull up next to you.” It turns out those words rang true.

Pandy says his friend tried to pay him back for saving his life, but it wasn’t necessary. “He wants to pay me for saving his life,” Pandy explained. “I was like Richard you don’t have to give me anything. You made me a banjo. That’s priceless.”