If a car is stuck, rescuers first assess the speed and the height of the water.

In typical standing water on a roadway — known as a low-water crossing — rescuers will wade into the water as a group first. If the water level gets above their waists, the life jacket makes it difficult to walk. At that point, one of their zodiac-style rescue boats is required for rescues.

Heed the warnings

Most baffling to Berna and his colleagues are drivers who insist on trying to drive through standing water.


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Yesterday, police had to block some roads just to prevent people from trying to cross.

"It's amazing to me that you can hear it on the news to the extent that you do, and people still don't listen," Berna said. "We'd be out doing a low-water crossing and they'll drive right past us. I truly don't understand it."

County firefighters, along with the police department and the Army National Guard, also collaborate with Maryland's Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team, which is utilized for more complicated rescues.

Thursday afternoon, an Army black hawk helicopter dropped off a set of radios to Texas Station as a means to aid communication — should heavy rains return Thursday night or Friday.

Thursday had slowed down since three morning calls that were ultimately canceled, but the team at Texas was prepared for things to pick up again.

"We know we can look at the weather and predict what might happen," Berna said. "As soon as we got here, we were ready."