Following a call from the family of the late Violet Isreal — to report her car unoccupied on Bloomsbury Road in Ridgeway on the morning of Sept. 1 after heavy rain and flash flooding the night before — emergency personnel from across Warren County rushed to the scene.
Ridgeway Fire Chief Victor Tucker took the lead and called in Drewry, led by Chief Charles Holtzman. One hundred personnel would be involved that day, including 67 searchers and 14 in the command staff stationed at the Ridgeway Fire Station. For six hours the searchers looked along Smith Creek and the area around Bloomsbury Road in an attempt to find Israel.
With the water rising on the road, and her car door found open, Isreal evidently tried to get out of the car and was swept away by the floodwaters. In addition to the six teams of searchers on the ground, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department and the Henderson Police Department used drones to aid in the search as well.
Isreal was found where Smith Creek and another creek merge by a team from Vance County.
Individuals and companies, including Glen Raven where Isreal worked, made donations of water and food.
“On behalf of the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department I would like to offer healing prayers to all the family and friends of this special lady,” Victor Tucker wrote on Facebook.
“The search for her today was located in our fire district but there were a lot of other agencies involved. We had over 100 people involved in all aspects of this operation,” Tucker wrote.
“I would like to say thank you to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Warren County Emergency Management, including EMS, Vance County Emergency Management, Vance County Fire Department, Vance County Rescue, Henderson Police Department, Vance County Sherriff’s Office, NC Forest Service, NC Highway Patrol, NC DOT, and also Drewry, Norlina, Soul City, Hawtree, Macon, Warrenton Rural and Churchill Five Forks VFDs for providing man power and equipment for the search.
Tucker went on to write, “I also would like to thank Warren County Schools Child Nutrition, Food Lion of Norlina, The Wandering Dawg of Warrenton, Glen Raven and other citizens for donating or preparing meals, snacks and drinks for all involved.”