Stranded woman rescued from rushing water thanks 'Angel' Austin firefighters who saved her

Julie Roush Butler says God was with her Thursday morning as she waited for rescue in cold rushing water in northwest Austin. "I don't know what to say other than I don't usually ever cross those water crossings but it seemed so not very wide," Butler said.

Palmer Buck, Division Chief with the Austin Fire Department says they got a call around 1 Thursday morning from Butler saying her truck had been washed off the road from the 6,000 block of Spicewood Springs. 911 dispatchers stayed on the phone with Butler as her Nissan Frontier got lodged onto a debris pile. "Once she got there and got on top of her truck she still was communicating.  She told us 'Hey there's another car in here,'" Buck said.

Thankfully the driver in that car had already made it to safety.  

Meanwhile Butler says she was concerned about how she'd get out of her vehicle.

"You have to be thinking about 'well is the window going to roll down?  When is the electricity going to go out?'" Butler said. 

"They talked to her, coached her on getting out safely while they were directing responding units to where she was, they were able to ping her cell phone and find out where she was and direct our crews in from both sides," Buck said.

Buck says fire crews waded out to her. "Not only is it Hypothermia but it's being in that dirty water, fire ants and other critters can cause problems as well.  It's just not a place you want to be," Buck said.

"They gave me a lifejacket and we held on to each other’s vests and got out so...that was weird, that was really weird," Butler said.  "I believe in angels and all of those firefighters were like angels in heaven.  They're not little tiny things that sit on your shoulder I mean they're huge with wings."  

"Can't say it enough: When we have these big rainstorms it really is 'turn around don't drown,'" Buck said.

Later in the morning another stranded driver call on Bitting School Road in Manor. Travis County Sheriff's Office Captain Willie Taylor says two deputies responded simply to put eyes on the situation.  Deputies aren't trained in swift water rescues.

One deputy got stranded on a flooding bridge while the other deputy unknowingly drove into water that rose quickly around her SUV and stalled it.

"She radioed for help, she got out of the vehicle and on to the hood of the vehicle," Taylor said.

Captain Taylor says Star Flight rescued the deputy while the fire department helped a man clinging to a tree nearby.

Taylor says the deputy put her personal floatation device to use from her "water rescue kit."  Having the kit in the patrol unit is a requirement on calls like this -- after the 2014 death of Deputy Jessica Hollis, killed while responding to a flooded low water crossing.

Captain Taylor worked with Hollis.

"Every time we hear that sound on the radio of a deputy stuck in water that gets to my core and it really hurts me and I think back to Jessica and I want to make sure that officer is safe," Taylor said.

The Sheriff's Office says the deputy was not injured and will be back on duty Thursday evening.