The floodwater rose as Jack Manley looked out at the normally busy intersection on Monday morning.
He could see at least four vehicles threatening to become awkward boats near Memorial Road and Pennsylvania Avenue. Then he spotted two women trapped in their cars.
The waist-high water churned as Manley walked from the tire shop he manages into the intersection. Once he reached the minivan, the woman inside got her window open so Manley could lift her out.
He carried her to the door of Hibdon Tires Plus and turned around to repeat the process with the woman in the Mitsubishi.
"You couldn't see half the cars,” Manley said.
Not long after he rescued the woman in the Mitsubishi, it disappeared beneath the water. All but the minivan's roof racks disappeared, too, he said.
But another driver was trapped in a Jeep bouncing in the deepening water, Manley said.
Ingeniously, the driver of an Oklahoma City garbage truck pulled up and used the truck's lift to carry a garbage bin to the driver, Manley said.
After about three attempts, the truck driver was able to steady the trash bin so the driver could climb into it. The driver then maneuvered the bin to safety.
There is no record of who was rescued at that location, said Oklahoma City fire Battalion Chief Tommy Iago.
Manley said it amazed him that drivers could see that cars were stalled but still tried to drive through.
He said he had seen flooding when he was growing up in Midwest City but he'd never seen floodwater so deep.
Iago said more than 50 people were rescued from cars and other dangerous perches in Oklahoma City, and about 40 people whose residences and businesses were threatened by high waters were evacuated.
The tire store at 13405 N Pennsylvania Ave. was flooded and Manley said he let employees go home about 10:30 a.m.
"It just wasn't safe,” he said.