Flood traps man in McMinnville park, saved by officers


Rescue efforts involved 3 agencies

A man was rescued in Joe Dancer Park in McMinnville after being trapped by floods, January 14, 2021 (McMinnville PD)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A McMinnville police sergeant on overnight patrol heard calls for help while he was checking Joe Dancer Park for flooding after the rains — and didn’t give up until he got his man.

Sgt. Newhouse thought the cries for help camer from trees across the park and thought he saw a flashlight or cell phone light in the tree line, police said. He used his PA to call, but got no response. He called for the McMinnville Fire Department, who brought a thermal imaging camera — but to no avail.

But Fire Captain Barsotti also saw flash of light. Around 3:50 a.m. TVFR sent their Water Rescue Team and got an inflatable craft to the man who had been standing on a log, holding on to trees and surrounded by water.

The man, who said he was asleep when the rising waters woke him up, was able to get back to the parking lot around 6 a.m.

The man, whose name has not been released, told police he thought he was going to drown. But the efforts of McMinnville police and fire plus TVFR rescued him.

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