Surprising hero rescues Overland Park family trapped by rising f - KCTV5

Surprising hero rescues Overland Park family trapped by rising floodwaters

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An Overland Park family had to escape rising floodwaters by climbing to their roof and wait for help. (KCTV5) An Overland Park family had to escape rising floodwaters by climbing to their roof and wait for help. (KCTV5)
A stranger came to their rescue in a giant Hemmitt tanker. The family is now safe and staying the night with a friend. (KCTV5) A stranger came to their rescue in a giant Hemmitt tanker. The family is now safe and staying the night with a friend. (KCTV5)
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

An Overland Park family had to escape rising floodwaters by climbing to their roof and wait for help.

The Overland Park Fire Department worked for nearly seven hours to rescue the family of seven near 155th Street and Kenneth Road. The family consisted of four children, three adults and their pets. A GoFundMe account has been established to help the family get back on their feet.

Water rescue crews kept in contact with them through the morning but couldn't get to them with boats because the water around their house was just moving too fast.

Eventually, the flooding receded just enough to come down the roof, but water rescue still couldn't cross.

When Spencer Sherf and his partner saw the family trapped on the news, they knew they had to help.

“He called me and said, "Those people are still up there. Do you want to go rescue them?’ I said, ‘Let's do it,’” Sherf said.

His partner just happened to have the right truck for the job -- a massive Hemmit tanker that was big enough to fight the flood.

Sherf streamed the rescue live on Facebook.

“We put lifejackets on them just in case,” Sherf said. “When we went through the rushing water, the reality sunk in … this water is rushing really fast when we got up on them."

Their big truck did the job, returning the family to dry land.

“We were not expecting it to be that big. Last time it was big but just puddles. This time it got in our house. It got up to my waist. We called police like 20 times. They just told us to wait. So, we went up on the roof to wait, and that guy with the big truck came up and got us,” said Yahir Vanvollenhoven.

The family runs a lawn care business from their home. They say they lost all of their mowers. 

The Overland Park Fire Department says they responded to at least 16 water rescue calls Tuesday.

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