Three Mercer County police officers were set on survival, clinging to trees for hours after being carried away by raging Ida floodwaters Wednesday night.
Hopewell Township Officer James Hoffman was responding to a flooded vehicle call on Route 518 around 8:30 p.m. when his own patrol car filled with water and got swept away, NJ Advance Media reports citing Police Director Bob Karmazin.
Hoffman escaped through a window and cling to a tree for safety, just as officers Michael Makwinski and Robert Voorhees experienced the same.
The two held onto trees after being carried away when attempting to rescue Hoffman, Karmazin said.
The officers fired their guns in an effort to share their exact location and were rescued nearly two hours later with help from the Hamilton Fire Department, who they say they owe a “debt of gratitude.”
Meanwhile, at least 10 people across the state died as a result of the overnight flooding, with numbers still expected to rise.
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