Former NFL Star Freddie Mitchell Needed to Be Rescued From Home in Storm Following Hurricane Ida

by Josh Lanier

Freddie Mitchell, a former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, said he had no idea his Pennsylvania home was completely flooded until rescue workers banged on his third-story window to get him to evacuate early Thursday morning.

The remnants of Hurricane Ida have plagued the Northeast with heavy rains and flooding. Nearly 50 people have died in flash floods, tornadoes, and in the storm’s fallout. Many are still missing.

Freddie Mitchell knows he was lucky to get out. Though he never expected to be in this situation. He told FOX29 Philadelphia that his home is on stilts, but heavy rains raised the nearby Schuylkill River nearly 17 feet and flooded his entire home.

“The local fire department over there actually came and banged on my window. And literally, it was three stories up banging on my window with a rescue boat saying you need to get out,” Mitchell told newscasters. “You need to evacuate ASAP. It was the craziest thing I ever experience … My house was being flooded. It was crazy.”

Rescue crews pulled him out of the house and onto dry land around 4 a.m. Thursday. Everything unfolded quickly, he said. So fast, in fact, that he didn’t have time to grab his clothes. So he went to the one place he knew would be open — Walmart.

“There’s always good scenery at Walmart especially early in the morning,” Mitchell joked. “Right when I stepped out (of the boat), I thought I had real shorts on. I said ‘no, I have my underwear on.’ I was that character in Walmart.”

Video of him walking through the store in his underwear and trying on clothes went viral.

Mitchell is a former first-round pick out of UCLA. He played for the Eagles from 2001 to 2004 and appeared in a Super Bowl with the team, Fox News said.

Hurricane Ida Fallout Overwhelms Rescue Workers

Hurricane Ida cut through the United States last week, leaving a path of destruction from the Gulf Coast and as far north as Connecticut. More than 700,000 people in Louisana are still without power, and it will likely take several weeks to return service to some, ABC News said.

The Northeast also has a long way to go before returning to normal. Heavy rains flooded New York City and neighboring New Jersey, causing flooding and several deaths. Many died in New York after basements flooded, trapping people inside, the Weather Channel notes. Thousands more lost homes and businesses.

Floodwaters in much of that region have receded, but the hard work is just beginning. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told the TODAY show on Friday that residents of his state will need a lot of help.

“While the weather may be good and while the floodwaters may have receded, we are still not out of the woods. We still have a lot of damage that we’re dealing with; we still have floodwaters that are significantly higher than normal,” Murphy said. “We’re going to clean up and we’re going to stay together, and we’ll get back on our feet, but it may be a long road.”