Stunning footage shows the moment crews rescued a woman after she clung to a tree as intense floodwater raged beneath her. The video comes as residents reel from the ongoing flooding caused by a strong atmospheric river storm that dumped torrential rain and floodwater onto California.
Before the harrowing rescue took place on Friday, emergency officials responded to a call of a person clinging to a tree. At the same time, swift-moving floodwater rushed below her.
According to officials, once they got the call, they quickly put together several swift water rescue teams. This included a 16-member team per California’s Office of Emergency Services request. That team worked on a plan to rescue the woman and included efforts from the ground and air teams.
The clip showed someone slowly lowered from a helicopter to reach the woman. Then, the rescuer secured the woman, and the chopper hoisted them into the air. Once they get to dry ground, the exhausted woman collapses from hanging on for dear life.
Officials later said the woman was reunited with her family. However, she refused to get medical attention at a hospital.
California continues to get hammered by raging floodwater
“As the water continues to fill up waterways, we strongly urge everyone to stay away from the water,” the OCFA wrote in a later tweet.
The rescue comes as the state is in the beginning stages of rebuilding. Recently, historic rainfall drenched the state at the beginning of 2023.
In addition, President Joe Biden recently approved a disaster declaration for the state. The declaration came as officials continued to pick up the pieces after storms left the state decimated.
In addition, horrific photos of the ongoing conditions show towns, such as Santa Cruz, washed away by the intense surf. The storms have caused large portions of the earth to fall victim to the pacific ocean.
The California Highway Patrol in Santa Cruz also shared jaw-dropping images of three people who needed to be rescued. At the time, they were in a car hovering on a cliff’s edge. Thankfully, none of the people inside the vehicle were hurt.
California’s Office of Emergency Services shared photos after the incident. They also said their Swift Water and Flood Team 13 rescued 175 residents in San Joaquin County.
Since the start of 2023, the rainfall and flooding have caused several creeks and rivers to overflow. As a result, people’s backyards have been transformed into moats.
In addition, those in San Diego also reported flooding. The National Weather Service posted harrowing photos of a car submerged in water after the city’s river flooded. The flooding also covered several of the city’s roads in water, hindering drivers as they made their daily commutes.