OSAWATOMIE — The county’s water rescue team was called out at the crack of dawn Friday, Aug. 2, to investigate a partially submerged Toyota sedan in the flooded intersection at 327th Street and Pressonville Road northwest of Osawatomie.
The water rescue team, which operates out of the Osawatomie Volunteer Fire Department, conducted a search and found the vehicle was unoccupied.
Dispatch ran the license plate number and the owner was contacted, Osawatomie Fire Chief Brian Love said.
“They were OK. They had just abandoned the vehicle in the water,” Love said.
The call came in at 6:19 a.m. in the predawn light.
“When we got there it was barely dawn,” Love said. “I think the driver probably couldn’t see there was water across the road because it would have still been dark and there weren’t any barriers up yet (to alert motorists).”
The rescue team was called out a second time to the same location about 9:40 a.m. Friday, Love said.
The motorist had started to drive through the water and thought better of it, Love said.
“The driver decided to turn around, but the car died,” he said. “The car was right at the edge of the water.”
Love said the driver was still in the vehicle when the rescue team arrived.
There were no injuries in either incident, Love said.
The Miami County Sheriff’s Office on Friday morning noted several road closures due to water across roadways as the Marais des Cygnes River continued to rise throughout the day.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reported the river crested at 35.9 feet at 7:20 p.m. Friday at Osawatomie, nearly 8 feet above minor flood stage of 28 feet. Despite the river leaving its banks, the highest level it reached during this flood episode still fell well short of the level needed to close the community’s floodgates. Numerous roads in the area were closed during that spring flood.
Upriver Friday, Ottawa residents were still dealing with flooding along the north side of the Marais des Cygnes. The community received about 10 inches of rain overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning. Photographs and videos of the community on Thursday, Aug. 1, showed floodwaters had closed several streets and entered some businesses. Numerous vehicles were left abandoned in the water.