Florida Highway Patrol trooper rescued after flooding destroys bridge, washes away patrol car
Ocala police said the trooper was driving in Hardee County on Sept. 29 when a bridge washed out, taking the trooper's cruiser with it.
WAUCHULA, Fla. - A Florida Highway Patrol trooper had to be rescued from rising floodwaters caused by Hurricane Ian as the storm barreled through the state last week, according to a report from FOX 13 Tampa.
Ocala police said the trooper was driving in Hardee County on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 29, when the bridge washed out, taking the trooper's cruiser with it.
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Amazingly, the trooper was unharmed. He was able to escape through the window and swim to a tree before calling for help.
Photos of the cruiser being pulled from the murky water below the washed-out bridge show the vehicle half-submerged.
A large crane was brought in to lift the car out.
Hurricane Ian first made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida last Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph.
Ian spun across Florida, knocking out power to millions of utility customers and bringing a catastrophic and deadly storm surge to coastal areas.
After exiting the northeastern coast of Florida, Ian headed north and made its final landfall in South Carolina on Friday afternoon as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 mph.