GRDA Crew Rescues Flooded Out Craig County Residents
VINITA, Oklahoma - A pair of Grand River Dam Authority Police Officers put their swift water rescue skills and equipment to work early Tuesday morning during flooding in Craig County.
The GRDA says officers Scott Cox and Tyler Brown used their boat to rescue homeowners from flooded homes west of Welch.
I thought I was going to die," Rhonda Robinson said. "It was scary.
Residents in rural Craig County are cleaning up what's left of their lives.
Storm debris is nearly everywhere you look, all because of a torrential rain that tagged along with an EF-1 tornado early Tuesday morning.
"I've lost everything," Dorothy Riley said.
The floodwater reached as high as 15 feet in some places. It covered cars and was halfway up Atash Moreno's trailer where her children were taking refuge.
"If the water had come up anymore we would have drowned," Moreno said. "We couldn't get up on the roof and we couldn't get out of the trailer."
Atasha Moreno and her children dodged the water by climbing as high as they could inside her trailer.
"It was pretty bad, pretty bad when you wake up at 4 o'clock in the morning and see guys out here in a boat," Randy Waggoner said.
Those guys in the boat were GRDA Officers Scott Cox and Tyler Brown, as well as a volunteer from the Centralia Fire Department.
The men piloted their swift water rescue boat through the high water to rescue the families who never expected anyone to come for help.
"I love them," Rhonda Robinson said. "I was so glad to see them and they were so good to help us and they are amazing guys."
They rescued 12 people that morning, seven adults and five kids -- even five family dogs. Rhonda Robinson says the trip to safety was frightening.
"We got caught up in some fence and so we was twisting and turning for a while," Robinson said.
The families are grateful the men put their lives on the line to save complete strangers and they can't thank their rescuers enough.
"It was very scary in the boat, but they were such sweet people that it was amazing," Riley said. "There is people out there that do care and they were really nice."
Residents say it's now time to begin that monumental task of cleaning up their homes. They say they are overwhelmed by the process. Everywhere they look there's trash, debris, and flooded out cars.