Firefighters rescued children from a school bus in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday after it became stranded in rising flood waters. It was a harrowing commute for about a dozen students from Moyer Academy returning from a sporting event.
The driver attempted to navigate waterlogged Gov. Printz Boulevard in Wilmington about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, but the yellow bus loaded full of children didn't get very far -- getting stranded amid torrential downpours.
"It was an unfortunate mistake by the driver," said Tyree Miller, Moyer Academy's athletic director.
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All the students are okay and the water was much deeper than it originally looked to the driver, according to Miller.
"Kids were hanging out of the window and messing around and having fun," said Alexis Ortega, who watched the bus from a nearby shopping center parking lot.
Ortega said the Wilmington Fire Department used inflatable life rafts to get over to the bus' back door and rescue the children. The children ranged from sixth grade to seniors in high school.
Miller applauded the fire department for doing a great job getting the children off the bus and into small boats. Ortega said the water reached the top of the wheel well.
NBC10 First Alert Weather Chief Meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz warned viewers that the rising water can be misleading and not to attempt to drive through water during a storm.
"Turn around, don't drown," Hurricane warned on Wednesday evening's broadcasts.
More than 2 inches of rain fell in the City of Wilmington over the course of the day. Those totals are only expected to rise as the rain continues to fall.