Lincolnwood officer saves woman in drifting car on Edens

April 18, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Lincolnwood Police Officer Jeff Gordon said saw a car floating down the Edens Expressway near Pratt Avenue. He came to the rescue of the driver and another man, but had to convince another passenger to leave.

"The vehicle started to go under water- engine first," Officer Jeff Gordon, Lincolnwood Police Department, said. "The driver was yelling at his wife...she was stricken with fear and couldn't get out of the car."

Gordon swam through the water, which was around 13 feet deep, to the other side of the car.

"I said, 'I'm a police officer. Yu need to get out of the car.' She snapped out of it, looked at me, and lunged out of the car at that point," Gordon said.

Only the license plate of the trunk of that car was visible by the time the water started to recede.

Illinois State Police warned drivers about the dangerous flooding.

"We are asking everyone to please stay off the roadways," Luis Guitierrez, Illinois State Police, said. The aftermath lasted for hours as the waters slowly receded.

"I've never seen anything like it. It was totally impassable both ways, three cars underwater, the semis were all pulled to the side. The truck drivers were all waiting," Matt Specht, Lincolnwood resident, said.

At Elston, lanes on the Edens were closed, cars were stranded, and motorists were baffled.

"I don't know what I'm going to do for the rest of the day. Every street is flooded, closed, re-routed, everything," Ariel Rivera, driver, said.

"Crazy, like bumper to bumper. You can't even move," Mitesh Patel, driver, said.

IDOT workers used rakes to clear drains, street sweepers wiped up debris, and Chicagoans helped each other out.

"Chicago is about when it rains it pours, and, you know, Chicagoans go out there and do what they need to do to help people who need it," James Oraha said.

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