Teen Escapes as Car Sinks Into Flood Waters

Cooke County emergency coordinator estimates 30 car rescues Thursday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    One Cooke County teen considered herself lucky Thursday after a harrowing experience in quickly rising flood waters. (Published Thursday, Jul 17, 2014)

    One Cooke County teen considered herself lucky Thursday after a harrowing experience in quickly rising flood waters.

    With just six months of being a licensed driver, Arvonna Wolfenbarger already has a natural instinct.
    Thursday morning, she dropped her aunt at work and was on the road headed to pick up her uncle when the rain made it a ride she'd never forget.

    "It was raining, and I couldn't see the difference between grass or road it was just water," Arvonna said.

    Exits were closed, cars were pulled over. She thought she was getting off at an exit.

    "I pulled off, and it was like normal and I was going steady on the gas," the teen explained. "Then the floorboards got soggy, and I was like sitting in the car, and I started noticing the bumper floating away."

    Water was all around the car as it began to submerge.

    "I chose the right moment to force the door open. If I hadn't forced it open, I wouldn't have been able to get it open if I had waited any longer," she said.

    The teen walked about a half mile, barefoot. Her shoes had floated away.

    "I was walking on the highway and I was like, 'Okay, Arvonna, we're gonna do this. We're gonna do this,'" she said.

    A man picked Arvonna up and drove her to a nearby gas station, where the teen was able to call her aunt.

    "I was just so relieved, and just terrified at the same time because all of that fear just came rushing back in that if something woulda' happened to her," said aunt Eva Wolfenbarger.

    Thursday night, the car was back home after being towed. Everything inside is muddied, but the sentiment at home is that the car can be replaced as long as Arvonna is alive.

    The teen is also wiser.

    "I'll get back behind the wheel. I mean, you can't just, you know, give up. I'll know what to do next time. I'll pull over on the shoulder and stay there," she said.

    Cooke County's emergency coordinator estimates there were about 30 car rescues Thursday, with dozens saved from flooded roads.