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Sheriff's Helicopter Swoops In on People Trapped by Floodwaters, Camera Catches Daring Rescue in First-Person View

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As floodwaters deluged parts of Arizona, daring helicopter rescues Friday plucked multiple groups from fast-moving water.

Monsoons struck Arizona last week, triggering severe flooding. Drivers who tried to make their way across flooded roads, despite advice to avoid driving, often became stranded.

On Friday, Daisy Mountain Fire and Rescue received a report of a mobile home that was caught in the flooding in New River.

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The water was too high for any ground units to reach those trapped inside.

Authorities reported that water was pouring through the windows of the mobile home, and the homeowners were afraid it would tip over, according to KNXV-TV.

That left one option — an air rescue.

A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office helicopter flew as close as it could to the home and the homeowners trekked through the floodwaters to the pick-up point.

Police said neither of the individuals rescued from the mobile home was injured.

Another rescue that day involved a partially submerged vehicle.

In a video released by the sheriff’s office, which dramatically shows the extent of the waters rampaging through New River’s streets, the helicopter closes in on a vehicle with two people sitting on it, only a few feet from the rapidly rising water.

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“We are here to provide #safety to our community but please be mindful of the dangers posed by moving water and entering flooded areas. Here’s a video of our MCSO aviation unit rescuing a driver after his vehicle got stuck in a wash,” the sheriff’s office wrote in the message accompanying the video.

As the air current from the helicopter rippled the water below, the chopper closed in, and police pulled first one person and then another to safety.

Officials hammered home their message that driving in a flood rarely ends well.

“Please do not attempt to enter flooded areas even though you think your vehicle can handle it. Chances are it may not,” the sheriff’s office tweeted.

“We ask that you please stay home, avoid dangerous roads, and wait until weather conditions improve,” police also urged drivers.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

CORRECTION, July 28, 2021: A previous version of this article erroneously reported the people rescued from the mobile home and those rescued from the truck during the flooding were the same group. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office performed multiple air rescues Friday, and this article has been updated to distinguish those reported on by the sheriff’s office.

Earlier reports from various sources also indicated the couple rescued from the mobile home lost two of their dogs to the floods. The Western Journal spoke with the family of the couple, Brian and Sheri Lasher, who said they did not lose any of the four pets they were forced to leave behind during the rescue. For more details on the Lashers’ rescue story, click
here.

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