It takes a team to keep everyone safe during severe floods

This is just one of several houses that were surrounded by water on Sunday.jpg

Families in Wise County, Virginia had five shelters to go to Sunday morning if they had to evacuate their homes because of the severe flooding. When the conditions are that bad, it takes a total team effort to keep everyone safe.

For first responders, sleep is a luxury in times like that.

"There wasn't anyone who got to sleep before 5:30 a.m.," Billy Chandler, the chief of the Big Stone Gap Fire Department, says.

First responders throughout southwest Virginia were up all night dealing with some of the worst flooding the area has seen in a decade.

"In comparison, it's definitely near the top ranks," Chief Chandler says.

The running water spilling onto U.S. 23 in Lee County, causing slick roads and serious accidents. The person in the wreck we saw was able to walk to safety on his own, but not everyone stuck in Wise County could get without some help.

"People go out sightseeing or they just aren't paying attention and they drive into water and can't get out it," Chief Chandler says. "It washes away their vehicle and they dial 911."

Chief Chandler says some of the people they rescued were the ones who left the safety of their own home, ventured out into the rain and tried taking pictures of the flooding.

"If they can take the picture from their house or from their porch, go ahead and take them," Chief Chandler says. "But don't put yourself in danger trying to get a picture."

With so many rescue calls, Big Stone Gap had to call in help from both the Bristol, Virginia and Appalachia Fire Department's swift water rescue teams.

"The fact that our team is here helps because if they were to have an issue, we can be ahead of the game opposed to being called and having to travel from Bristol," Tyler Wright, a firefighter from Bristol, Virginia, says.

A total team effort, urging you to remember the saying, "Turn Around, Don't Drown" if you see a flooded road.

"People have to see and think about the risk of what's going on," Chief Chandler says. "It doesn't take a lot of water to carry their vehicle so we're hoping they listen."

You can always check road conditions by going to the 511 website, which you can find by clicking here.

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