Man rescued during Shelby Co. flooding

SHELBY COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s been a dreary week across Central Illinois, and Friday was no exception.

More than two and a half inches of rain came down just outside of Stewardson leading to some flooded spots.

“Got off the road and their vehicle was stranded, they had to get out of their vehicle and get on top of the vehicle,” Austin Pritchard, Shelby County Dive Team said.

It was a situation that needed immediate attention, and that’s where the Shelby County Dive team comes in. They got to the scene quickly and helped rescue this man, who was stranded southeast of Stewardson in a ditch off County Highway 23.

“When we got here, we put an inflatable raft in with a motor on it,” Pritchard said.

Crews were able to get the man in the raft and bring him to dry ground.

Commander Pritchard tells WCIA he was cold and wet, and they were worried about hypothermia.

Shelby County Sheriff Brian McReynolds says a rescue like this is a reminder to the community.

“People need to slow down for one and then two, like we said turn around and don’t drown, don’t drive through standing water,” said Sheriff McReynolds. “In the past, we have had situations where a person got out of a vehicle and actually got swept away by flood waters and drowned.”

As spring continues, he hopes people remember his message. 

“Early in the spring, the ground is saturated and we start getting heavy rains like we’ve got and we’re prone to several areas, several areas are prone to flood out over the road,” Sherriff McReynolds said.

EMS was also called to the scene to help take care of the man. The Shelby County Dive Team has 16 members. Half of them dive; the other half includes boat operators, sonar technicians, rope tenders, and family liaisons.

Courtesy: Shelby County Sherriff’s Office

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