Tucson firefighters rescued a man and woman who were trapped in a storm drain just hours before torrential rains flooded the city and surrounding areas.
The fire department responded just after 10:30 a.m local time Saturday after a passerby heard the screaming from the drain and called emergency services, NBC News station KVOA reported.
The pair, who showed signs of heat-related illness, had entered the drain willingly and became disoriented, officials told KVOA.
They spent more than eight hours in the drain, azcentral.com quoted Tucson Fire Capt. Barrett Baker as saying.
The situation was even more serious because of storms that were heading towards Tucson later in the weekend, Baker added.
"Being caught in a storm drain during a monsoon would've made this a body recovery rather than a rescue," Baker told azcentral.com. "Storm drains are just that -- storm drains. They are not people drains."
Heavy rain flooded roads throughout Tuscon on Sunday, KVOA reported in a separate story, leaving many motorists stranded.
Firefighters had to rescue three elderly people who had tried to cross a wash, KVOA reported. A 93-year-old woman had to be carried out of the torrential waters in a stretcher.
"You don't know what it looks like underneath that running water so when in doubt do not drown, turn around," Northwest Fire Captain Adam Goldberg told KVOA. "Somebody is not getting the message and the message is quite simple: If there is running water don't try to cross it."
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