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A Cumberland County ambulance drives through water to meet Cumberland County Rescue Squad volunteers as they bring the kayakers to higher ground.

Four Cumberland County residents are safe and dry after a recreational outing turned potentially deadly this afternoon. 

Three men and a woman had taken kayaks to the I-40 Dragstrip in the area of Creston Rd. and Fredonia Rd. near the I-40 overpass. The closed facility was underwater from recent rains and overflows from a nearby creek. The four were caught up in the current of Black Drowning Creek that runs beside the property. 

The woman was separated from the others. She was the first kayaker to be rescued. The other three grabbed on to tree branches in the wooded area off the end of the drag strip. They clung to the trees until help arrived.

Black Drowning Creek flows into the Obed River. 

The Cumberland County Rescue, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Cumberland County Emergency Medical Services, Crossville-Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency, Crossville Fire Department and Cumberland County Fire Department responded. 

The Rescue Squad used inflatable rafts to reach the group through the swift water. They were helped to waiting ambulances where they warmed up after being in the cold water and evaluated before they were released at the scene. 

More rain is in the forecast for the area. Everyone is reminded to use caution as the rain can cause localized flooding and dangerous flash flood situations.