ViewPoint: Respect flood waters

August 26, 2008

When storms hit and flash floods occur, property damage and losses are always a concern, but that pales when you consider the real tragedy - the loss of human life.

Sadly, a 12-year-old Cairo boy lost his life Saturday when he was sucked into a swirling storm-engorged lake.

And five other people almost lost their lives when they made the decision to disregard D.O.T. barricades and drive across a flooded road.

One look at these pictures illustrates the enormously bad judgment the drivers of the three cars used when they opted to ignore a D.O.T. worker's warning and strike out across this section of Highway 84 in Thomas County.

It's not at all surprising that their cars were quickly swept off the road and into the creek, and they spent the next three hours clinging for dear life to a car and a tree.

Had the DOT worker not witnessed it and called for help, they likely would have died.

While little Mac Crutchfield died being a curious 12-year-old, these five adults almost died because they made a stupid decision.

And on top of that, all kinds of taxpayer money was spent rescuing them, considering TWO helicopters, ambulances, D.N.R. rangers, police, utility crews and deputies were called to the scene.

While all of us make mistakes, these five adults should be held accountable for their actions and should be forced to pay for the cost of their rescue.

And we hope their close call will serve as a reminder to everyone to use caution and good judgment when faced with the dangers of flooding.