Roanoke Swift Water Rescue Saves 21 at Daycare - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Roanoke Swift Water Rescue Saves 18 Children & 3 Adults at Daycare

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In a matter of minutes, 18 children and three adults found themselves surrounded by water inside a daycare on Peters Creek Road.

"It was scary to see the water rise so quickly," Sheila Anderson says.

Anderson, who owns the Rainbow Christian Learning Center, says the water rose well above the stairs and ramp of the daycare.

She says even before Roanoke Fire-EMS could get to her and the children, they had to save two women trapped inside a car.

Then, swift water rescue crews started quickly putting the children inside a boat.

"They did an outstanding job," Anderson says. "They responded quickly and so did the staff. They kept the children calm and made sure the children were a priority at all times."

A neighbor down the road, Steve Jarrell, says he watched the water rescues happen. He says he's lived near the daycare for 25 years and this is some of the heaviest flooding he's ever seen.

"You always have a fear when you see kids in danger like that," Jarrell says. "You're afraid they are going to drown , so you have to react as quickly as you can."

Sheila says she and husband are preparing for some pricey repairs. The carpets are completely destroyed, and their vans to transport the kids are no longer working. They are turning to the community for any help or donations possible.

They say they are just thankful for the men and women who made sure all their kids got out safely.