SAPD/SAFD respond to water-related calls Monday; disregarding barricades is illegal

With the more than three inches of rainfalls the area received Sunday into Monday morning, the San Angelo Police and Fire departments were called to assist motorists in high waters.

According to a release from the San Angelo Police Department’s Public Information Office, at 4:13 a.m. Monday, the SAPD was dispatched to assist the SAFD with a water rescue at Sunset Drive and College Hills Boulevard. First responders noted two children were assisted/removed from vehicle and the vehicle was removed from the roadway. There is no additional information regarding this call.

At 5:33 a.m., the SAPD was dispatched to assist the SAFD at the 3200 block of Middle Concho East Drive. Although the SAPD responded, no one needed assistance.

At 7:53 a.m., the SAPD was dispatched to the 3200 block of Sul Ross to assist a motorist/water rescue. The SAFD safely removed the female driver from her vehicle. The driver was issued a citation for disregarding a barricade.

The SAPD would like to remind the public that disregarding a barricade that has been placed because water is over any portion of the road, street or highway is a Class B misdemeanor. This is a serious issue, the release said, that not only risks the driver/passenger(s) lives, but the lives of first responders.

Each year, more deaths occur because of flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwaters. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is because of walking into or near floodwaters. People underestimate the force and power of water. It only takes 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small vehicle.

Officials are advising recreational walkers to not walk through the floodwaters along the Red Arroyo Trails as it is possible that contaminants are flowing with the water.

In addition to the calls for service, many traffic signals were reported as non-functioning throughout the city, most likely storm-related.