Thursday Flooding: Water Rescues In Johnson City

By Lindsay Nielsen

September 8, 2011 Updated Sep 8, 2011 at 6:31 PM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Some residents in Johnson City decided not to heed evacuation orders Wednesday night.

Their decision not to evacuate their homes led to many rescues by the Watertown swift water rescue team Thursday.

"It was one of the worst experiences I ever had because there was nothing I could do you know I pumped water until twenty minutes until four and I didn't get any sleep all night," said Joe Hovancik of Johnson City.

Hovancik says as he continued pumping water out it was already coming back into his home.

The Watertown team rescued him and his dogs from his home on Brown Street.

"The biggest concern with getting people out is if there's ever a medical emergency or God forbid a fire or something like that then there's people that are trapped in their houses and they're swimming to get out, that's why we encourage everybody out of their houses," said Troy Chisamore of the Watertown Swift Water Rescue Team.

Another JC resident, Eric Hergel found himself stranded also on Brown Street.

"I stayed their all night last night, the water was coming in, we had it controlled for a while and then I went to bed at 3:30 woke up at 5 and it was all the way up to the front porch," said Hergel. "They said that's it this is the last round you guys got to get out so we hopped on the boat and they pulled us out of here."

The dangers rescue teams say they face as well as residents include hazardous materials in the water, broken power lines, and natural gas.