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Man's terrifying brush with death in flash flood caught on video

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 7/15/2020 Courtney Spamer

A woman was recording cellphone video of intense flooding outside her home in Turkey and captured the moment her husband was nearly swept away in raging waters on Monday. The man managed to narrowly escape, but the footage serves as a stark reminder of the power of flash flooding.

Heavy rain began falling in the eastern part of the Black Sea region in northern Turkey, which hugs the southern coast of the Black Sea, on Sunday and rainfall totals quickly deluged the area.

"Spotty thunderstorms developed in northeast Turkey on Sunday and again on Tuesday, bringing pockets of heavier downpours from Trabzon to Kars. The heaviest rain, capable of flash flooding, was not widespread across the country," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Tony Zartman.

The state of Rize was one location that faced the intense flooding, following downpours early this week. The woman who captured the cellphone footage lives in the small village of Madenli, Reuters reported, about 570 miles east of Ankara. She was perched on an upper level of her home and recording floodwaters in the street as her husband, wearing a black raincoat with the hood pulled over his head, ventured out to survey the scene.

"I was filming a video when I saw all hell broke loose," Nezahat Bostanci, the woman who shot the harrowing footage, told Reuters. When she saw what looked like a swollen river heading for her home, she yelled to her husband, who was near the water's edge below, contemplating their family's next move.

Bostanci could be heard screaming frantically as the surging, muddy waters surrounded her home as a child looked on. Her husband managed to flee just before the flooding escalated. Mere seconds after he is seen in the video running to the steps leading up the family home, a second wave of water explodes into view, bringing with it a torrent of debris along the narrow road leading to the home.

Mehmet Bostanci, the man seen in the video, told Reuters the near-death experience left him in shock.

"I don't know how I managed to escape. I was thinking whether I should go home or take my family out," Bostanci told Reuters. "Then I saw floodwaters gushing. I started to run away and I managed to take cover behind a wall," he said. "That is how I got rescued."

Madenli wasn't the only place that was inundated with floodwaters in Turkey's northeastern region this week.

In the coastal city of Cayeli, about 6 miles to the north, roadways on Tuesday looked like rivers running through the city, as muddy waters ravaged the downtown section, videos posted on social media showed.

The Hurriyet Daily News reported that at least two people were killed in the Rize region, and another 11 people had been injured.

Several bridges and roads collapsed, leaving remote towns like Madenli stranded. Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) teams said that 36 people, including six children, were evacuated from the Madenli region.

"Twelve villages cannot be reached in Çayeli, but we have established communication with them. There are no deaths in those villages, but only one injured," stated Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

Officials confirmed that the amount of rainfall per meter square in Rize was around 262 kilograms, according to the officials.

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Just two days before, farther east in the state of Artvin, heavy rain also targeted the region closing Artvin-Erzurum road and submerging homes.

As of Monday, the Turkish news source Anadoula Agency reported that at least four deaths had been blamed on the flooding, including a family of three that was first reported missing following Sunday's deluge.

The floodwaters also swept through the construction site of Yusufeli Dam. Many of the workers were evacuated to a safer location, but much of the heavy machinery remained trapped in the mud and debris.

Communities from the Black Sea coast to the mountains in northern Turkey could see more wet weather in the days to come.

"Through the remainder of this week, isolated thunderstorms can once again develop and be slow-movers, allowing for a lot of water to dump on any one locations for a longer period of time," explained Zartman.

Any additional rain in the already hard-hit area could cause more flooding, mudslides, or at the very least hamper cleanup efforts.

Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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