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Woman Relives ‘Scary’ Flooded Car Rescue

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CRESTON, Iowa -- It's a remarkable story of survival. Last week, a Madison County woman drove her car into several feet of water near a rain swollen river. Somehow, she managed to keep her cool until help arrived.

Ruth Samson of Creston had to be rescued after she drove her car into water that flooded Pitzer Road, between Earlham and Winterset, on September 10. She spoke with Channel 13 Wednesday night, and said she didn't even see the flooded out road.

"(I) Went over the hill and saw that the bridge was open and didn't think about it. Looked ahead and it just looked like black highway at that time of the morning too. Hit the water instantly, scared me to death," said Samson.

With water quickly filling her car, Samson called 911, "I don't know what I was thinking. I tried to gun my car thinking that might get me through this or whatever. The car died and I was stranded and I knew where my cell phone was and immediately grabbed it and dialed 911."


As the water rose, Samson spotted a man in a tree; his truck had already been washed away by the raging water.

With the water now up to her chest and rising, the 911 operator told Samson it was OK to get on top of the car, minutes before help arrived. Remarkably no one was hurt.

"It could have been worse," Samson said, "It could have turned out a lot worse. I could have left behind grandchildren. I could have left my kids. My husband. All my family. But I'm here."


  • Sue

    how do you not notice ‘several feet’ of water over the road? I’m glad this lady is ok, of course, but, please don’t drive onto a flooded road!

    • Rene

      I believe that she said in the article that it just looked like black highway across the bridge as it sometimes looks early in the morning. By the time she realized it, it was too late.

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