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Continued: Dramatic SW. Minnesota flood rescue saves mother stranded in car

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 18, 2014 - 8:55 AM

Man saved twice same night

Luverne Fire Chief David Van Batavia said the three rescue missions in Rock County saved two women and two men.

One of the men, a farmer, had to be saved twice — once from a tree and later from a nearly submerged tractor.

About 5:30 p.m. Monday, the farmer and his son were checking on cattle and escaped up a tree to stay above an expanse of water hundreds of yards wide northwest of Kenneth, the chief said.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) came with a high-powered boat, at times “drifting sideways through the current until it bellied up to the tree,” and brought the two to safety, Van Batavia said.

The high-water hat trick was completed after dark Monday, barely one-10th of a mile from the tree escapade, and it was “the same guy we picked out of the tree,” the chief said.

This time he drove his tractor off the road, and it was standing upright in water up over the front hood. Along for the ride was his wife.

The Edgerton Fire Department joined Luverne’s crew and shined lights on the tractor while plotting the next move. The husband and wife “were both sitting there, just fine,” said Van Batavia, so the chief left it to Edgerton personnel to wait until conditions were safe enough to rescue the couple about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Van Batavia said he and his crew defied their own common sense about driving in deep water to help with the final rescue.

“When we went out, we drove through water we shouldn’t have,” he said. “We easily could have been swept off the road.”


Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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