LAFOLLETTE, Tenn. (WATE) – The power went out for nearly 3,000 LaFollette Utilities customers Friday night after heavy rain poured through Campbell County.
Dayne Deavours, a third-year apprentice with LaFollette Utilities, was one of the linemen working to restore power when someone caught his eye.
Deavours was driving along Old Long Hollow Road when a man was on the side of a hill waiving at him to stop.
The man pointed toward someone else on the road: another man, standing on the top of his car, trapped in floodwaters.
“White as a ghost. It’s normally a creek, but it’s turned into a raging river and he’s up on top of his car. You can’t even see the car, just the very roof of it,” Deavours said.
He immediately jumped out to start a swift water rescue from his utility vehicle.
Deavours ran and grabbed a rope out of his truck. He said they typically use the rope to bring material up and down a utility pole.
‘“I’m going to throw this to you, and hold on I’m gonna tie it to the truck. I’m going to pull you out as safely as we can,'” Deavours said he yelled to the man.
He said it was like the scene out of a movie: Everything moved so fast and he had to wrap his head around what was going on before actually realizing what was happening.
Deavours said that another man, named Clyde, came to help with the rescue.
After the first man was saved, he told Deavours and Clyde that his friend was also in trouble.
“Water pushed him all the way, maybe about half a mile from where he was. We had to do the same thing with him: Tie a rope around him and ease him out the truck,” Deavours said.
He waited on Old Long Hollow Road until he knew both men were okay, before heading back to his first job and restoring power.
Deavours said he didn’t think about the danger he might’ve put himself through. He knew that someone needed help and that was it.
He said he’s lived in LaFollette for 25 years and has never seen the area flood like it did over the weekend.
“This is a tragedy. People need to grab somebody, love them, be there for them, because this is a really a time of need right now,” Deavours said.
He said he knew his coworkers would do the same had they come across the two men trapped in floodwaters. He was training with the best.
Deavours wanted to thank Clyde for helping with the rescue, but didn’t get Clyde’s last name.