Jefferson County flooding leads to water rescue

Local News

On Friday snow piles have melted and the rain falls in Jefferson County. The creek nearby a home right off of route 36 in Oliver Township quickly rose this morning. 

“A lot of people don’t understand the force of water,” says Tracy Zents. 

The flooding completely surrounding the Coolspring house and leaving the homeowners stranded inside. It took all three Punxsutawney Fire Departments, along with the Oliver Township Fire Department to rescue the couple by boat. 

Emergency Service Director Tracy Zents says even small amounts of flooding can be dangerous. “You can’t see underneath the water. Areas where you think it may be safe to walk on or drive on may be washed out.” 

He adds floodwaters can be even more dangerous when melting ice is involved. “Right now we’re seeing a lot of ice coming down through but also on the streams you’ll see a lot of tree debris. You know, trees that came down on the banks, that’s all being washed down through. Any of that can knock somebody off of their feet and somebody could ultimately drown.”

The couple did make it out of the home safely- and is believed to be staying with family. 
However, Zents says the weather threats are going to be come more serious as the temperatures drop on Friday night. 

“The pre-treatment that the highway departments have put down, the anti skid, because of the torrential downpours a lot of that is washed off,” adds Zents.

PennDOT says they have crews on the roads, however, the rain is making it difficult to treat the roads. 
Zents says drivers need to be even more careful in these conditions. 

“If the roads get too bad and you don’t have to travel stay home and stay where you’re at.” 

PennDOT recommends avoiding travel during winter storms if possible, but drivers who must be on the road are urged to use caution while driving and offers this advice: Don’t drive through standing water. Slow down and drive at a speed that suits the conditions. Turn on your headlights. Increase your following distance. Reduce in-car distractions. Use defroster and wipers. Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice. Use four-way flashers when traveling slowly. Always buckle up and never drink and drive.

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