The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and Elkhart Fire Department rescued two households from fast moving flood waters in the early morning hours on Tuesday.
Anderson County deputies received a call regarding a family trapped in their home in the 400 block of ACR 1121 in Elkhart as a result of torrential rain and flash flooding.
Deputies Mike Mitchell, Dale Linebaugh, and Sgt. Skyler Laza responded with two members of the Elkhart Volunteer Fire Department.
Flores said deputies and other first responders equipped themselves with water floatation devices, a length of rope, flashlights and began swimming to the flooding home.
By the time the three first responders reached the residence, the whole property was under water and the family was calling for help.
Elkhart Fire Chief Randy McCoy disabled the electricity from the power pole to prevent electrocution, while the deputies assisted getting the couple and their two children to dry land.
When the family was safe, they told the first responders that the grandparent’s house, on the same property, has been lifted by the flood and swept further down the property, with them still trapped inside.
An attempt to rescue the grandparents was made and all three first responders were swiftly taken by a strong current just 30 yards from the house and pinned against three trees.
For over two hours, the two deputies were forced to hang onto the tree trunks or get swept further down a gully while McCoy was pinned further back, out of sight.
Flores said, as it became daylight, all of the responders were able to free themselves from the currents by using the rope they had packed before the rescue.
The individuals trapped in the house were rescued by game wardens who brought boats.
All of the family members were safe and secure.