ST. LOUIS — People in Midtown said shortly before three Thursday afternoon, heavy rains kept pouring and flooding busy Lindell Boulevard.
"It was blinding rain and very dark,” said Father Paul Sheridan.
"I came out because I heard loud thundering,” said Shamiya Billups, who works in Midtown.
Sheridan's been a priest at St. Louis University High School for 47 years.
He was driving home when his car and several others suddenly became partially submerged in the rising flood water.
"When the water rose to the seat, I said, ‘I got to get out of here,’” Sheridan said.
Sheridan, who was all alone, dashed out of his flooded car.
"And I had my cell phone up to protect it and then I tripped and went under water,” Sheridan said.
"He started swimming and we thought he was gonna drown,” Billups said.
Fortunately, the 77-year-old priest didn't drown, but instead he swam to a nearby tree.
"In a way, I thought it was humorous and in a way I was like, ‘OK, I accept,’” Sheridan said.
St. Louis firefighters rushed in just in the nick of time.
Billups snapped a dramatic cell phone photo before firefighters helped the soaked priest get inside this a nearby McDonalds.
"I wasn't terribly concerned about safety. I was concerned about how do I protect the car,” Sheridan said.
His waterlogged white Chrysler is now broken down as a result of the flash flooding.
From weary onlookers peering from their apartment balconies to passersby, everyone's just thankful the kind-hearted priest survived.
"I'm so happy that everybody made it out," said Billups.
“Really, I just kept thinking about all the flood victims I’ve been praying for this week and how so many people lost their homes and everything. I’m OK. I wasn’t hurt at all. I’ve never been caught in a storm like that and no I can't walk on water,” said Sheridan with a big laugh.