Police released frantic calls on Tuesday from drivers facing an oncoming 4-foot-high wall of water after a water main broke on a busy commuter route to Washington Monday.
One a woman trapped in a Honda Accord called 911 and begged operators for help.
"My car is going down!" she shouted into the phone. "I'm going down! Please! I'm going down!" Operators then tried to get her to remain calm and answer questions, but the woman was inconsolable.
The caller was airlifted in a basket out of her car by a Swift Water and Technical Rescue crew on the scene. At least 15 people were rescued after the water main failed around 8 a.m. at River Road and Fenway Drive in Bethesda, Md., near the Congressional Country Club, an official said.
Another driver called 911 asking police to save her vehicle.
"Are you OK now?" the operator asked.
"I'm OK, I'm just scared. I have a child in the car," the trapped driver responded. "I don't want the car to wash away."
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On Wednesday, Gov. Martin O'Malley visited the site. He said the state is seeking more money to maintain water-related infrastructure from the incoming Obama administration.
Officials say the road could reopen as soon as this weekend, but it could be weeks before they know what caused a massive water main to burst.
Teresa Daniell, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission's interim general manager, said that as workers making repairs over the coming days might get an idea of what happened, but there will still be a thorough investigation.
There have been several major water main breaks this year in the wealthy suburb of
The Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission has warned its system is aging, overtaxed and under funded. It serves 1.8 million suburban
The Associated Press contributed to this report.