This week’s hero is a team effort. You may have seen the video captured by anxious onlookers while their friends and passersby united for a daring rescue. In what is being called a 1-in-1,000-year event, epic rainfall crippled Ellicott City in Maryland last week. More than 6.5 inches of rain came down in less than three hours—5.5 inches hitting the ground in less than two hours, causing flash flooding and resulting in two deaths.
Many people found themselves suddenly trapped in the deluge. In Ellicott City, Main Street turned into a river, ripping up sidewalks and carrying away cars while doing significant damage to buildings. The Governor quickly declared a state of emergency, activating resources to respond to all those affected.
One of the dramatic scenes from the surprising downpour was a rescue by ordinary citizens who formed a chain to stretch across where the water was flowing like rapids to get to a woman trapped in her car. At first, it didn’t look like it wasn’t going to happen. For one, the lead rescuer, Jason Barnes, almost got swept away, but also the woman was shaken and had a hard time choosing between the seeming safety of the vehicle and the raging waters outside the car door. Luckily, Barnes was able to convince her to take the leap of faith and climb out the car’s window. Barnes is being hailed as the main hero, even risking his own life to break the chain and lift the woman through the window and carry her to safety.
It was quick thinking and action, faith and strength that brought them all through the ordeal and that same strength and resilience is in action during the clean up and restoration of the area ravaged by the storm.
Do you know someone or a group of individuals who banded together to perform a rescue? Nominate them for next week’s AmericanTown’s Heroes.