Campers rescued from flash flood in Powell County

Truck washed away by swift water
Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 7:37 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2020 at 5:11 AM EDT
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SLADE, Ky. (WKYT) - Three campers from West Virginia are safe Sunday after their truck was was washed away by fast-moving water.

According to a Facebook post from Powell County Search & Rescue, the group was camping at the Middle Fork Campground at Natural Bridge State Park Saturday night, when a park ranger told them they needed to move to higher ground due to a flash flood.

They say the campers got in their pickup truck, and drove the wrong way into the swift water. The park ranger watched helplessly as the truck started to disappear beneath the water.

A woman was able to jump out of the truck and swim to shore, while a second camper got out after the truck drifted about 1000 feet downstream.

Officials say the park ranger was able to throw a rope to the third person after the truck got stuck on a tree, and he was able to safely make it to shore.

The group then had to hike back to the woman who first jumped out of the truck. They say she didn’t have shoes on, so rescuers found some fire department boots for her to wear through the woods.

Officials say Natural Bridge State Park Rangers, Powell County Search & Rescue, Middle Fork Fire Department and Powell County Ambulance Service all helped with the rescue.

“Volunteerism, no one gets paid for it, but they’re risking their life for it, and you know you got to have a big heart to do that," says Mike Sparks chief of Powell County Search and Rescue.

“If it wasn’t for us, a lot of people wouldn’t be able to make it home. We’re volunteers we do it from our heart, a lot of training, a lot of paperwork, we do a lot for volunteers. But, it’s not because we’re worthless. It’s because we are priceless,” says Lisa Jones with Powell County Search and Rescue.

If you’re interested in donating to Powell County Search and Rescue, you can visit

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