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Rushing flood waters sweep Palmer resident off road

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JIM WILLIAMS
Ellis County Press
PALMER - An area radio disc jockey said floods, such as North Central Texas experienced Feb. 15 and 16, were considered acts of God.

He said, 'You know God told Noah, The Great Flood was no act.'

The disc jockey said Minnesota was no longer the land of 10,000 lakes, as if Texas could now hold that honor.

Along Interstate 45 last Friday, water covered service roads on both sides in low-lying areas.

Gates were closed with signs indicating high water, closing portions of the I-45 service roads to traffic.

Melinda Schmidt of Parker Hill Road in Palmer left for her job in Dallas early before roads were closed.

Schmidt was driving on Palmyra Road, northwest of the railroad track and old Palmer brickyard, near Red Oak Creek.

Marvin Tallevast, Ellis County Sheriff's Department deputy, said rushing water swept the car Schmidt was driving approximately 200 feet off the roadway of Palmyra at 5:10 a.m.

Tallevast said Schmidt used a mobile phone to call the sheriff's department. He said water filled the car up to her waist.

Tallevast said the car's engine had stalled and Schmidt couldn't get out of her car.

He said at one point she did manage to climb on top of the car, but later returned inside the vehicle before Palmer Fire Department personnel arrived on the scene at 5:40 a.m.

Members of the PFD responding were Stacey Boyett, Glenn Decker, Mike Magiera, Charles McElhaney, Ronald Townley and Assistant Chief Lloyd Higdon.

'It was a pretty rough ordeal because they waded out there,' Tallevast said.

At that time, about 10 a.m. last Friday, the sheriff's deputy received another call on his radio of another vehicle stranded in high water on FM 667, south of Highway 34.

Tallevast said Italy personnel were also responding to that call.

'They waded in water up to their waist,' he said of the Palmer fire fighters rescuing Schmidt. 'She was carried by hand.'

Tallevast didn't do anything other than give her a warm place to sit in his sheriff's deputy's car.

'She was cold,' he said. 'She was soaked. You could bake biscuits in my car.'

Tallevast said Schmidt appeared to be okay other than being cold and wet.

He said she was transported to Baylor Medical Center Ellis County in Waxahachie to be examined.

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