A couple were yesterday rescued from a submerged car after freezing floodwater trapped them for two hours.
Footage showed fire crews break the window of a car that was barely visible underneath almost six feet of flood water in Thorpe End near Norwich.
Bystanders called the rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’ after a woman and a man were pulled out of the car alive at around 10.44am, reported the BBC. One of the car’s occupants is believed to be in their 70s.
Norfolk saw almost two inches of rain cause major flash flooding across the south of the county. And more than a thousand people were evacuated from Billings Aquadrome holidaypark in Northampton last night.
Bystanders called the rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’ after a woman and a man, one of whom is believed to be in their 70s, were pulled out of the car alive at around 10.44am, reported the BBC. Pictured, paramedics working on the couple
Matt and Alex Emmerson, 42 and 44, watched out of their bathroom window as the rescue took place. They had assumed the car would be empty and were shocked when two people were found inside.
Mr Emmerson told the BBC: ‘Whoever this poor couple were, they were in there for a long time – close to two hours. The water must have been freezing.’
The couple were taken to hospital by ambulance and Norfolk Police is investigating.
Mrs Emmerson said flooding in Thorpe End was a regular occurence during heavy rainfall, but that normally anyone in a submerged car would ‘leap out’ before the water rises to dangerous levels.
Mrs Emmerson told MailOnline: ‘My husband and I had a bit of a late lay-in yesterday, we didn’t get up until 9.40am and my husband went in the bathroom first.
‘It looks over the scene of the accident. He looked out of the window and saw a car that was almost completely submerged by water. You could see maybe 10 cm of the top of the car.
Footage showed fire crews break the window of a car that was barely visible underneath almost six feet of flood water in Thorpe End near Norwich
Matt and Alex Emmerson, 42 and 44, watched out of their bathroom window as the rescue took place. They had assumed the car would be empty and were shocked when two people were found inside
‘He immediately assumed the car was empty because that back lane at the back of our house is very well known for getting flooded very quickly.
‘We often get cars there that got into a pickle and the drivers had to get out and abandon the car. We just thought it was another car that had been abandoned.
‘He just went into the shower, a nice long shower because it was our day off, Christmas Eve. At the end of the shower I went in there and he said “look out the window” and I saw the car as well.
‘I said to him what if there’s anyone in there. He said no don’t be silly we didn’t hear anyone call for help or any horns beeping.
‘I thought we had four children we’re used to listening out for noises in the night.’
By the time fire crews were called the couple are thought to have been inside the submerged car for more than two hours.
The couple said their area needed permanent signs, rather than temporary ones, to warn drivers of the danger of flooding.
Video footage taken by the couple showed the moment a firefighter waded into water that came up to his chin.
More than 1.000 people were evacuated from Billings Aquadrome last night. The holiday park was completely submerged in water
Flood water rushed into the holiday park in Northampton, prompting the authorities to act to get people to safety
Mrs Emmerson, while recording the rescue, said: ‘He’s literally up to his armpits’.
The firefighter could be heard shouting: ‘Guys I’m unsure, I don’t know if there’s anyone in here.’
A woman was seen inside and the fireman smashed the window before pulling her out but she was in a state of shock.
Mr Emmerson said: ‘I couldn’t see anyone come out of that alive. He was shouting to her to find out if there was anyone else in there and she was in a real state of shock.’
A man was then found inside and pulled out.
The East of England Ambulance Service said both patients were transported to hospital for ‘further assessment and treatment.’
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has received more than 300 calls about flooding since Wednesday afternoon, when some areas were hit with a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours.
Tim Edwards of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘It’s very difficult to know exact depths. Do not enter flooded water at any point.’