Gov. Henry McMaster’s helicopter trip on Monday to observe flooding in Chesterfield County became a rescue mission.
The governor was riding on a National Guard Blackhawk when he noticed two men standing on top of a car, surrounded by floodwaters. An Associated Press reporter who was also on the flight detailed what happened.
McMaster was with Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks and State Rep. Richie Yow, R-Chesterfield. The group spotted the stranded car off the roadway several miles southwest of Cheraw.
“When we went by the first time, the water was… more than a foot below the top of the vehicle,” McMaster told reporters during a briefing at the state Emergency Operations Center on Tuesday. “We called rescue, then circled around and came back and they only had a few inches.”
Brooks radioed for a water rescue. McMaster then asked for the helicopter to land nearby so all could watch. A swiftwater team from Louisiana which was in the area responded and was able to reach both men.
“That just shows the danger,” McMaster continued. “Apparently, they were riding on that road and the water hit them and threw them off the road… Fortunately, their vehicle did not overturn and they did not drown. They were not hurt. They were sitting there waiting to be rescued and we happened to come along.”
Brooks told AP the men had tried to drive around barricades blocking off the road and got stranded. Chesterfield County has been besieged by flash floods, which led to dozens of road washouts and several evacuations.