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Firefighters make successful river rescue near Tama

May 31, 2013
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Firefighters from Tama, Chelsea and Grinnell responded to a call for help from a man reported clinging to a log on the Iowa River east of Tama about 4 p.m. Friday. The swollen Iowa River proved too much for Colton Quigley when he was travelling in his vehicle south of the Long Point bridge in the area of 260th Street and P Avenue. He ended up in the flood water, but through his cell phone was able to call Tama County 911 dispatch for help.

About one and one-half hours later, firefighters were able to locate him and bring him virtually unharmed to an area of P Avenue, about a mile south of U.S. Highway 30 and about four miles east of Tama. He was checked briefly by the Tama Ambulance Service, but did not require medical attention.

Tama County Sheriff's Officers and the Iowa State Patrol also responded.

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Tama firefighters and EMS personnel return Colton Quigley to safety after his vehicle went into flood waters and he clung to a tree in the swollen waters. Chronicle-News-Herald/John Speer

Record flooding from the Iowa River required Tama firefighters to launch two boats from P Avenue, an estimated mile north of the Iowa River.

Grinnell and Chelsea firefighters were called because access to the scene from the south side would have required Tama responders to circle through Montour to the west because U.S. Highway 63 is closed at the Iowa River south of Tama.

Quigley, a 2013 graduate of South Tama High School, said his action in travelling in the area was "stupid." Tama County dispatchers who were able to stay with him almost the entire duration of the ordeal said Quigley was very apologetic all the time.

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