Firefighters rescue family trapped in flooding basement

A severe storm caused flash flooding in the Idaho Falls area, and the fire department had to rescue a family.
Posted at 9:45 PM, May 24, 2023

Flash flooding from a severe storm in Idaho Falls, Idaho, prompted local authorities to warn residents to stay inside Tuesday night, but doing that for one family led to a more imminent emergency.

The Idaho Falls Police Department said it received reports that a woman and her small kids were unable to get out of the basement of an apartment complex about 40 minutes after severe weather storm alerts began. The department's Facebook page said the mother couldn't open a door due to water coming into the basement vestibule.

The fire crew safely got the mother, twin girls under the age of 2 and an infant boy out of the building through a bedroom window. No one was injured in the rescue, nor in any incident the department responded to Tuesday night, the department said.

A video the department posted shows a firefighter taking a child from the building. The firefighter recently graduated from the fire academy in March, and is one of the department's newest probationary firefighters.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department also had to respond to multiple cars stuck on roadways due to rising water. Almost every street in its downtown area was impassable.

Another round of thunderstorms with heavy downpours is possible in the area each day for the weekend ahead, with even more possible flash flooding. The National Weather Service cautions residents to move immediately to higher ground and to avoid walking or driving through flood waters if a flood warning takes effect.

National Weather Service satellite map.

Severe weather and flood threats across central US

Around 17 million Americans in the risk zones spanning from the Canadian border through the Great Plains to Mexico are under threat.