WATCH: Dramatic rescue of woman stranded on top of a car as floodwaters inch up


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A water rescue was caught on camera, as crews saved a woman stranded on top of her car.

It’s not often the Buffalo Fire Department uses its water rescue boat in November.

“To my knowledge this is the first time it’s been deployed to rescue someone from a flooded viaduct,” said Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo. 

Just after 8 p.m. Thursday, crews were called to Niagara and Tonawanda streets in Buffalo, for the call of a woman stranded and her car submerged in water.

“A car with a young lady on top waiting to be rescued,” said Renaldo.  “She was on the roof of her car, waiting to be rescued.  That’s how deep the water was.”

Emergency crews floated out and sprung into action. One of those first responders was Jamie Silvestri. 

“We just pulled up as a team, deployed the boat and did what we were trained to do. go out and get her to safety.”

He says the water rescue team goes through extensive training but it was an emotional experience. “She was shaken, she was nervous but once we got her in the zodiac she calmed down,” said Silvestri.  “She was a little emotional but we got her to safety.”

Earlier last night, three others were also rescued from a truck in the same viaduct. Responders say it’s a good reminder of what not to do if you see standing water.

“Whether it’s in a viaduct or a road that you think is flat, do not drive though it,” said DPW Commissioner Michael Finn. “You can not see the bottom of it and you can end up in a worst-case scenario, where you need to get rescued by our professional firefighters.” 

Crews tell News 4 that all four people rescued in total are doing fine.

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