RICHMOND, Va. — Nineteen people were rescued from their vehicles after getting trapped in high water in Wednesday afternoon's flash floods, according to the Richmond Fire Department.
Amy Vu, a spokesperson for the Richmond Fire Department, said the Water Rescue Team helped those people get to safety.
Photos taken from the flooded areas showed just how quickly conditions changed Wednesday evening.
A photo taken around 4:30 p.m. on the south side of Richmond showed cars surrounded by rising waters as strong storms dumped inches of rain. Another photo taken just 50 minutes later showed how quickly the water had receded.
Vu said Maury Street saw the most activity Wednesday afternoon, but across South Richmond, water rescue teams rushed to the aid of trapped vehicles in high water.
Meanwhile, along Commerce Road, Warren Hubbard with On Time Towing said he spent his off time helping to pull cars from the median and street amid high water.
🚨 50 MINUTES APART: These photos from East 31st Street & Maury Street should give you some perspective on the impact of tonight’s flash floods in the City of Richmond. The first photo was taken around 4:30 p.m. as strong storms started to roll through the area. pic.twitter.com/4eVpEeS9Hm— Richmond Fire Department (@RFDVA) June 9, 2021
"I see cars on medians, people just flying past 'em, cars aren't stopping," Hubbard said. "It was just, 'wow, let me try to help. I have a tow truck; I know how to drive it.'"
Hubbard wasn't the only one offering a helping hand.
Chris Quidort said he left his home near Hopkins and Walmsley because he had lost power. On his way to get gas, he saw cars stuck along Commerce Road.
"(I) came across a couple of stalled out vehicles and another Good Samaritan, and we pushed the stalled vehicle out of the travel lane," Quidort said.
AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Morgan Dean said Wednesday's fast-moving storm was a reminder to drivers to prepare their cars before hitting the road, to use caution while driving, and to never drive through high water.
"Twelve inches of water can carry away most cars," Dean said. "If you're going out in the rain, and it's a deluge like we saw today, slow down, increase that following distance with the vehicle in front of you, brake early and drive with extra caution."
Dean also emphasized the importance of avoiding distractions in stormy conditions and moving over a lane when encountering flashing lights or crews on the side of the road.
This story was originally published by Shannon Lilly on Scripps station WTVR in Richmond, Virginia.