ATLANTA - In the midst of a torrential downpour and flash flooding that inundated downtown Atlanta on Sept. 14, two local heroes emerged to rescue a trapped driver. Atlanta Police Officer Rayando Bryan and Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Captain Terrance Simon are being hailed as courageous saviors for their swift and selfless actions.
Officer Bryan was on duty when he came across the alarming scene of Peachtree Street, just near Atlanta's Public Safety Headquarters, completely submerged under rising floodwaters. There, he noticed a partially-submerged vehicle with Captain Simon valiantly attempting to rescue the trapped driver.
"We had been out there for a few minutes, and you have water that's well over four-and-a-half feet, so you have to act quickly," Capt. Simon told FOX 5.
The floodwaters had reached such a dangerous level that the vehicle was perilously lifted from the ground, rendering its doors immovable. Without hesitation, Officer Bryan waded into the treacherous waters to assist in the rescue operation.
Using his baton, he shattered the driver-side window, creating an escape route for the stranded motorist. Together, the police officer and fire captain managed to safely extricate the driver from the perilous situation.
"I told them ‘Thank you for everything, you saved me that day.’ I told him that specifically," Bernard Johnson, the rescued driver told FOX 5.
The powerful storm unleashed more than two inches of precipitation within the span of an hour, overwhelming downtown Atlanta, the Atlanta University Center, and its surrounding areas.
The FOX 5 Storm Team reported that the city experienced an astonishing three hours' worth of rain in mere minutes, leading to catastrophic flash flooding conditions.'
In some parts of Atlanta, water levels surged to five feet, inundating streets and low-lying areas due to a nearly stationary thunderstorm. Witnesses told FOX 5 that several vehicles parked in a lot near Northside Drive SW and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW were washed away, ending up near the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The storm also impacted multiple students of Clark Atlanta University, flooding their rooms and forcing them to relocate.
Officers say if you find yourself in a precarious situation like this one, get on top of your roof, and wait for help.