A teenager captured the terrifying moment when her car got into a flash flood and shut down, forcing her to leave the car and hold onto a tree for her dear life.
Catherine, Ke, 18, was driving to her boyfriend’s house in St. Louis, Missouri in the pouring rain when her car started to fill up with water. She shared images of the life or death situation TikTok, where it has been viewed more than eight million times.
‘I was driving on the road and I couldn’t see the flood at all, otherwise I would have turned and gone back,’ she said BuzzFeed News. “My car’s engine went off and the battery was still on and I started aquaplaning.”
No warning: Catherine, Ke, 18, was driving to her boyfriend’s house in St. Louis, Missouri, in the pouring rain as she drove into a flash flood
Lifesaving decision: the car started to flood and she made the quick decision to get out of the car to seek safety
“Then the water started to pour in and my first thought was to get out of the car and walk to the unfilled part of the street,” she explained.
Catherine said she started filming the situation because she wanted to post the video on the social media platform, but she also wanted it to show her insurance company what happened.
The images showed the flooding water pouring into her car, prompting her to make a quick decision to get out of the vehicle to seek safety.
However, the current was too strong and she could not make it across the street. Catherine had to hold on to a tree and wait for help.
SOS: Catherine tried to walk to the non-flooded part of the street, but the current was too strong. She had to hold on to a tree while calling the emergency number
Safe: Catherine had to let go of her Michael Kors bag and filmed it sinking into the water. She was eventually rescued by a boat
Close call: Catherine’s mother had tried to find her, but her car was also flooded
“A lot was going on in my head,” she told BuzzFeed News. ‘At first I was concerned that my wallet was going to be lost, but then I realized it was a life or death situation. I realized I had to stay calm and call 911 immediately. ‘
The video held her to the tree as she talked to an operator for nearly an hour. She eventually had to let go of her Michael Kors bag she was holding and filmed him sinking into the water.
Catherine’s mother tried to find her, but her car was also flooded. She was eventually rescued by a boat, and her quick thinking probably saved her life.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has reported that ‘nearly half of fatal flood accidents occur in vehicles’.
Destroyed: Both Catherine’s and her mother’s cars were totalized after the flash flood
Found: Catherine found her wallet and shared images of her money and cards left to dry
As little as six inches of water can reach the bottom of most passenger cars, which can lead to loss of control and stalling. One foot of water can wipe out many vehicles.
According to him, people should never drive through or over a flooded road or bridge ABC news. If your vehicle is surrounded by water, get out and look for higher ground.
If you are stranded in a tree or building, never enter the flood water. You have to wait to be rescued like Catherine did.
In a follow-up video, Catherine revealed that both her and her mother’s cars were totalized in the flash flood. She did find her wallet, however, and shared images of her money and cards drying out.