Crestwood first responders make one rescue at Whitecliff Park

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Photo by Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

CRESTWOOD, Mo. — One person was rescued Wednesday from the floodwaters at Whitecliff Park in Crestwood.

According to Crestwood Fire Chief Lou Hecht, first responders were called to the park after hearing that a vehicle had been swept away.

Chief Hecht said Gravois Creek flooded and trapped several people in a parking lot near the quarry at Whitecliff Park. They rescued the one person at that location.

“There’s a bridge there and that’s where the water makes a 90-degree turn, so the velocity of the water takes it straight over the bank and it was high enough to lift the cars and move them,” Hecht said.

Julie Nesselhauf’s van was one of two vehicles that were picked up by fast-moving waters in the parking lot. She and her kids had parked there to check out nearby Grant’s Farm.

“It could have been a scary situation had we ended up back to our car,” Nesselhauf said.

Grant’s Farm saw some damage where crews could be seen cleaning up. Meanwhile, the Nesselhauf family may be one car short now but they say that’s ok.

“I’m just grateful that we are all okay. I don’t care about the vehicle, I care about me and my four kids,” Nesselhauf said.

In addition, Hecht said authorities discovered an unaccompanied vehicle and feared the driver may have gotten out and been swept away in the overflowing creek. While swift water rescue crews checked the banks of the creek, Crestwood police ran the license plate on the vehicle and were able to contact the owner.

Ultimately, authorities determined no one had been swept into the creek, Hecht said.

“If you can avoid being in the water, stay away from it; it’s very dangerous,” Hecht said. “You can be swept away, that’s what we were worried about today, that someone got swept away.”

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