Mother warns of flash flood dangers after close call at swimming hole

PINSON, Ala. (WIAT) -- An Alabama mother's quick thinking may have saved her children from being swept away in flash flood waters.

Wednesday's torrential downpours caused the waters of Turkey Creek to surge.

Amanda Allen took three of her boys and two nephews to the park Wednesday. It is a popular swimming hole in Jefferson County.

There were cloudy skies before the rain, but Allen admits she doesn't often think about the potential for flooding.

"There was nothing that would give us the idea that anything was about to be different. The current wasn't very strong," said Allen.

After about 45 minutes, the water began to surge. Suddenly water that was once at Allen's ankles came up to her waist.

She immediately grabbed the smaller children.

"If I had waited another 30 seconds they would have been swept away, it happened so fast," said Allen.

The older boys in Allen's group swam to safety, but she said it wasn't an easy task.

"The two older boys were actually on inner tubes and the power of the water just knocked the floats completely out from under them," Allen said.

The frightening experience isn't going to keep this family away from the water, but there will be some changes before the next trip.

"If we went back there now, they'd have life jackets on," said Allen.

Allen hopes her cautionary tale serves as a reminder for other families about how quickly the water and danger can rise.

"There were branches and logs floating down the river, it was very scary, we were very lucky," said Allen.

According to Allen, two other girls had to be rescued by first responders, but both are OK.

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