The first of those rescued was Arianna Smith, 16, whose sport utility vehicle was swept off a bridge by floodwaters.
"I kept hearing the helicopters,” she said. "I was soaking wet, and I was cold and scared. I thought I was going to die.”
Also rescued were two state workers trapped in chest-high waters at a pumping station along the river, two stranded motorists and a tractor-trailer rig driver who got stuck while trying to drive through a flooded road.
Jason Steadman and a few of his co-workers were tending to a broken-down truck when they noticed the semi stall a few hundred feet from the water's edge.
"My first instinct was to jump in the water and swim out to him,” Steadman said. "We called 911 and helped them load a boat into waist-deep water so they could reach the man.”
After helping to pull the man to safety, Steadman stayed to help rescuers load and unload boats.
"My grandpa always said to repay a debt before you owe it, so that's what I'm trying to do,” he said. "When you're worried about someone else's life, you don't think about your own.”
CONTRIBUTING: STAFF WRITER MEGAN ROLLAND