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Photo courtesy Joe Moore Half Fast Photography

The Nolichucky River water was deep and swift across Spencer Hale Road, according to Hamblen County Emergency Management Director Chris Bell.

The water had risen higher than expected and swept away the warning sign near the Cocke Hamblen County line. 

Sarah Mantooth thought her Jeep Grand Cherokee could make it.

The 38 year-old Mantooth of Emanuel Road, Newport was traveling on Spencer Hale Road in Hamblen County at about 3:30 p.m. Friday, approaching the Nolichucky River, when she came upon rushing water over the roadway at the Litz Farm.

"I just rolled out to the water there and I thought maybe I can make it through it and I started out and my Jeep just stalled and I realized how deep it was," she said. 

 ”My Jeep is stalled and I'm stuck," she said, stuck on the roadway surrounded by two feet of rushing water. 

Hamblen County authorities say another vehicle behind Mantooth was taken off the roadway by the rushing water, but the unidentified driver was able to escape his auto and swim from the water.

 Mantooth was rescued about thirty minutes later by Centerview Volunteer Firefighters who drove a large fire engine beside the Mantooth Jeep and rescued her from the auto.

Bell said her SUV had slid about two feet closer to the edge of the roadway. The right rear wheel was perilously close to the edge, had it slipped over, Bell said the day could have had a dramatically different ending. 

”I just hoped I wasn't going to be swept away," Mantooth said after her rescue. "I'm just glad to be out of that water, but I hate that my Jeep is stuck out there."