First responders react to flooding in Amarillo

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Flash flooding continues Sunday night after intense flooding throughout the city on Saturday.

First responders assisted in multiple water rescues on Saturday, June 1. At one point the Amarillo Office of Emergency Management received reports of more than 20.

Amarillo Fire Department and Amarillo Police Department received hundreds of calls about people needing assistance after driving into flood waters Saturday night.

“Once the car is underwater it’s really hard to get the doors open because of the pressure and so it can be quite terrifying to be in the car with water rising around you,” Steven Denny, the Potter County Public Information Officer, explained.

The calls were coming in so fast that AFD had to issue a mutual aid response. This is when other first responders, like the Potter County Fire Department, are asked to help respond to emergency situations.

“That means that their resources are maxed out as much as they can go,” Denny said.

Reports of metal dumpsters floating in the streets were being made, but that’s not all that was floating. 

“People were driving through those low lying areas and the cars would stall and flood out and some of them even started to float away,” Denny stated.

First responders said some of the calls could have been avoided by simply staying home.

“Stay home when we have flash flooding, that’s why they put the warnings out so that you can be safe and stay at home.”

If you find yourself stuck in flood waters, try not to panic and dial 9-1-1.

First responders also want to warn people about walking through flood waters. The water could be flowing faster than it looks, and it’s hard to see what’s underneath. 

Denny explained that if a driver is unsure if they can make it through the flood waters or not, they should keep these tips in mind. If driving is necessary, do it slowly so you do not hydroplane. Denny also reminds drivers, do not stop because engines usually fail.

If a driver is caught in the flood and the car stalls out, remember to put on the hazards and try to push the car out of the way. If the car cannot be pushed, or it is not safe, leave the hazard lights on and get to the closest safe place.

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