Family recalls frightening experience in Tuesday's storms

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

ANTHEM, Ariz. -- A family from Chandler is thankful for firefighters and DPS officers who came together to help rescue them from a flash flood along the Carefree Highway Tuesday night.

Pierre Carter, his girlfriend Khadyja, and their one year old daughter, Olivia, were driving home from visiting family in Las Vegas when a wave spun their car off the road.  Pierre immediately called 911, but several other vehicles had also fallen victim to the flood, so dispatchers had to coordinate firefighters from several agencies, along with DPS' Search and Rescue Helicopter.

"It was like raging rapids, really.  It was like a waterfall.  Never, ever, ever, have I experienced anything like that," said Pierre.

After a few minutes that seemed like an eternity, firefighters arrived.  With the help of the helicopter's aerial angle, they walked out to the family's car, tied together with rope for safety.  They managed to usher the trio to high ground without anyone being hurt, but the car is a total loss. 

"I really didn't know what to expect, if it was going to happen, or if the firefighters were going to get to us in time.  I'm really happy we made it through.  We did lose our car, but we've got a great family," said Pierre.

Six other people were also trapped in the floods.  Everyone was rescued safely, and didn't suffer any serious injuries.