• Channel 2 photojournalist, reporter rescue woman stuck in Florence floodwaters

    By: Chris Jose

    Updated:

    LATTA, S.C. - They were in the right place at the right time. 

    Channel 2’s Chris Jose and photojournalist Brandon Bryant have been in South Carolina covering what is now tropical depression Florence. The two are making their way to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to cover the flooding and damage left by the storm there. 

    [READ: 3-month-old the latest death due to Florence. Here's what we know about the victims]

    They were driving up Interstate 95 when they found the roadway flooded over around Latta, South Carolina. 

    Jose said they decided to take some of the back county roads to get around the flooding when they ran across a woman who was stuck inside her car, with floodwater rapidly rising up around it. 

    [READ: Convoy of Care: Here's how you can help Hurricane Florence victims]

    The two said the woman was yelling, "Help me, help me!” The area was under a tornado warning, adding to the already dangerous situation. 

    Knowing they had to do something, Jose said he drove their SUV as far as they could into the water without getting stuck and Bryant, wearing a pair of waiters, got out into the water, which was about waist deep.

    When Bryant got to the woman’s car, he found Barbara Flanagan inside, praying. 

    "It just pulled me in and I couldn’t stop it. I had my foot on the break. But it wouldn’t stop," Flanagan said. 

    [VIDEO: Looters clean out Family Dollar amid storm damage]

    Bryant said he told Flanagan he was going to open the door and that water was going to come flooding in, but she was going to be alright. 

    He got the door open and was able to grab the woman and help her out of her car. 

    "I couldn't leave you out there," Bryant told the woman. “My heart wouldn’t allow me.”

    [READ: Disaster relief organization offering help as Florence moves through]

    As they made their way through the floodwaters, Flanagan told Bryant she was from Georgia and was a worker with the USDA, who was responding to the area for storm relief. 

    She said some of her coworkers had taken the same route shortly before her and the road was clear. 

    "Looks can deceiving," Flanagan told Jose. "Don’t go through the water."

    A man in a pickup truck pulled up behind our crew’s SUV and offered to help get the woman’s car out of the floodwater. The woman’s car was still able to run, despite the high water. 

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