Phoenix firefighters rescue driver from floodwaters

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- A 56-year-old woman became stranded in a flooded wash Monday night, after a heavy downpour in Phoenix.

She crossed the wash near 12th Street and Hatcher Road in the Sunnyslope Neighborhood of North Phoenix, and says she was hit by a flash flood.

"All of a sudden the water came rushing in at me, with trees and debris.  It came flying at my car, and at that point the car wouldn't go any further," Georgia Arneson told 3TV afterwards.

Firefighters arrived, and sent a line over to her Chevrolet Malibu. They also sent a helmet and vest for Arneson to put on.

She became stuck around 7:30 p.m., and by 8:00 p.m. the water was receding enough for firefighters to help walk Arneson out.

She can't swim, and was too scared to leave the car on her own.

"Thank you so much to Phoenix Firefighters for being there for me," Arneson said.

Captain Benjamin Santillon, with Phoenix Fire, told reporters in all of his years in the Sunnyslope Neighborhood, he has never seen the flooding so deep in this wash.

He added, this rescue should  be a reminder to all drivers to avoid flooded washes.   He says less than a foot of water is enough to disable a car, or carry it away.