HARDY, KY. – In a short period of time early Monday morning, the skies seemed to open up over the Hardy, Ky. area and other surrounding communities, releasing heavy downpours of rain and striking fear in the hearts of the local residents who are all too familiar with the definition of flash flooding, and the destruction it leaves behind.
At approximately 9:30 a.m. Monday morning, Connie Daniels was attempting to return home to Majestic, Ky., with her friend and passenger Carla Prater, when she made a decision that thankfully, ended in a safe matter that could have just have easily, went in the opposite direction.
“The rain was really coming down when we left my friend’s doctor’s appointment to head toward home,” explained Daniels. “We turned onto Rt. 319 at the Velocity Market, following several other vehicles. Right around the entrance to the Southside Elementary School, we realized the roadway was covered with water.”
Daniels told the Daily News that she observed the other vehicles, some of which were cars similar to the size and style of her own, drive through the water without any difficulty. Needing to get her passenger home to her children, Daniels made the decision to follow suite and stayed in the line of traffic that proceeded on into the water. After traveling approximately 75-100 feet on the roadway, Daniels’ Oldsmobile Cutlass stalled, and would not restart.
“At that point, you’re just thinking okay, stay calm, it’s going to start back up and we’re going to drive on through just like everyone else did,” stated Daniels. “That didn’t happen.”
What made matters worse at this point was the fact that the current of the rapidly flowing water was gaining momentum and strength and was moving the stalled vehicle, not to mention the fact that passing cars and trucks driving the opposite direction in the water were creating waves that were covering the windshield and a good portion of the roof of the car each time one would strike, according to Daniels.
“We were scared to death, I didn’t know what to do. I tried calling 911 but was told that a $200,000 fire truck couldn’t be risked to pull a car out of the water and I didn’t have any better luck trying to reach a tow truck that could help either, especially in the length of time I knew we needed them there,” remarked the driver.
“The only thing we knew to do was to try to climb on the roof of the car because water was coming in around the doors and we were beginning to move.”
Daniels stated that what amazed her most about the entire ordeal was the number of vehicles that passed them in the water after she and her passenger were on top of the roof that never stopped, slow down or offered any assistance.
The terrified women were eventually rescued from the top of the vehicle by an unidentified truck driver.
“We kept thanking him over and over again…he had unloaded his trailer, drove the cab of his truck into the water, rescued us and then went back and reconnected his trailer,” said Daniels. “There were even people standing around taking pictures of everything happening, but no one offered to help.”
The truck driver wasn’t the only Good Samaritan that came to the rescue of Daniels and her passenger on Monday, however, as another caring person bravely drove his pickup into the water, attached tow ropes to the Oldsmobile and pulled it to dry ground.
“While we were standing there in the pouring rain after being rescued, I couldn’t believe how rude people were,” commented Prater. “Connie would never have put her life or mine in danger, if we hadn’t thought the water was shallow enough for us to make it through. We simply followed other vehicles, we weren’t out there on our own.”
“Yes, we shouldn’t have driven into the water, but we made a mistake. We didn’t deserve to be talked to the way we were.”
Daniels and Prater both asked to express their appreciation to the truck driver who rescued them from the top of their vehicle, and to the good Samaritan, his wife and kids who took them into their home, gave them dry clothing, fed them, helped them arrange for someone to pick them up and assisted in getting the car started and operational.
“It’s not every day that angels walk into your life, but I can tell you that we were treated with more kindness today by the one family who provided so much help to us that I can’t talk about it without drying,” stated Prater. “It’s comforting to know that there are people like them left in the world. We would have been in a mess without them.”
To those who drove by the stranded women or who, according to Prater, made rude and derogatory comments to them about their experience, she had this to say:
“How would you have felt it this was your wife, daughter or other family member or friend that drove through water, not thinking for one second that they might not make it, and then see them huddled on the roof of their car while grown men stood under umbrellas, shaking their heads and laughing at the ‘stupid women’ who should have known better?”
“I’m sure that if this were the case, you would have had a totally different opinion.”
“One word of advice,” stated Prater as she concluded her interview with the Daily News, “These people could learn a lot about compassion and kindness from your neighbors, and I highly suggest they take some lessons.”