Florida deputy, resident ‘lucky to be alive’ after being swept into drain pipe during flood: Sheriff

A Florida police officer and a resident were both “lucky to be alive” after they were sucked into a sewer by floodwaters. according to Chip Simmons, Escambia County Sheriff.

On Friday, Escambia County Sheriff William Hollingsworth was on patrol when he spotted a motorist trapped after being swept into high water, body camera footage of the incident showed.

Hollingsworth can be seen getting out of his car in a downpour and approaching the person he later witnessed was underwater, and attempted to rescue him “despite the own safety” before he himself was dragged into the water, Simmons said.

Simmons said the driver and Hollingsworth were swept nearly 100 feet by water for about 30 seconds under Highway 98, before emerging across the street, Simmons said.

In the video, a grateful Hollingsworth can be seen and heard holding her breath, assisting the driver and expressing shock at what just happened to both of them.

“You can […] believe what happened to us,” Hollingsworth said, using profanity for emphasis, the video shows.

Later in the video, the driver of the car exclaims “I almost died” as he tries to catch his breath.

Florida and other parts of the South have been hit by severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in recent days.

A tornado hit Pensacola, Florida, killing one person after a tree fell on their home Friday, according to the Escambia County Fire Department.

Non-stop intense thunderstorms continue to slam into parts of the South this weekend, with thunderstorms likely to make landfall from Arkansas to the Florida Panhandle Sunday afternoon through evening, according to forecasts.

The severe weather threat will extend across areas north of the Gulf Coast on Monday, centered on the Mississippi coast and eastward through the Florida Panhandle, including cities like Mobile, Alabama and Tallahassee, Florida.

ABC News’ Julia Jacobo and Daniel Peck contributed to this report.

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.

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