Ex-military vehicle used to rescue workers from rushing flood waters

Image courtesy of WTEN-NEWS10

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. (WTEN) – A dramatic rescue took place Friday in Williamstown, Massachusetts after floodwater trapped dozens inside their work.

It was just a few hours until quitting time for James Wolfe. The worker at Steinerfilm Inc. was looking forward to the weekend.

But he’ll never forget what a coworker said to him just after 1 p.m.

“No one’s getting out of here,” he recalled.

Wolfe looked out the window, and his jaw dropped.

“There’s about five feet of water blocking the entrance,” he described.

The water was a result of ice jamming in the Broad Brook combined with serious rain.

“Over the intercom, it said to evacuate the building,” he said. “This is time-sensitive, and we have to get out of here right now.”

But where could he or his almost 40 coworkers go?

“The water was rushing,” Wolfe said. “Then I saw a truck – one of the biggest trucks I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Tim Kaiser is the director of public works. He knew something was wrong.

“We were called to get people out of the property,” he said.

Kaiser used an ex-military vehicle built to withstand the worst Mother Nature can throw at it. Wolfe and the others climbed a ladder just to get on it.

“The water was up to this truck’s window,” Wolfe said.

Video was taken from the vehicle as it made its way through the water with the workers on board.

“We were able to go under the overpass with the vehicle and load everybody into the truck,” Kaiser said.

In the end, everyone was safe after a day none of them will forget.

“This is right up there with exciting things to do,” Kaiser said.

Some damage was left behind. The cleanup process will begin Saturday morning.

The hope is business will be back to normal in the near future.

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