A strange story has emerged from the flooding that hit South and North Carolina last weekend. The torrential rains which started Thursday, October 1, 2015 and didn’t start abating until the following Monday dropped an estimated 11 trillion gallons of water on the two states — about 1.2 million gallons per person.
Parts of Charleston, South Carolina received 25 inches of rain, but it was still two inches short of the 27 inches that drenched nearby Mount Pleasant, SC. The damage is estimated at over $1 billion dollars. News reports are now suggesting the flooding wasn’t as unprecedented as first thought calling it a one in 10 year event.
Tragically at least 16 people were killed as result of the flood. It would have been more except for the strange and miraculous escape by Clara Gantt and her son-in-law Travis Catchings of Blythewood, South Carolina.
Clara was on her way home late at night so she could attend Three Rivers Baptist church when her car was caught up in the raging waters from nearby Lake Elizabeth, which had gone over the road she was driving on.
She called 911 but got no answer, so she ended up calling her daughter who told her husband, Travis Catchings, what was going on. Travis grabbed a rope and deer harness and headed out to help his mother-in-law.
Clara stayed on the phone with her family until Travis arrived.
Before he showed up, the rampaging flood washed Clara’s car off the road on to the front yard of the Vision Miracle Worship Center — right beside a brightly colored red cross.
Clara was convinced God was calling her home.
In an interview with WIS-TV, Clara said:
“I went down in the water and I said ‘Dear Lord are you taking me home right now? Did you come to get me right now?””
The lurching car flipped Clara over on to her back and then God said it was not her time yet.
When Travis arrived, he was able to get out to the car and get his mother-in-law out to the vehicle. He said opening the door against the rushing current was the hardest thing he had ever done.
They were now both caught up in the rapidly rising, rampaging flood and unable to get to land.
Travis told Fox News:
“I was literally, after I got out of the car, holding onto the cross. I was clinging to the cross.”
At one point Travis, convinced they were going to die, used his grandmother’s phone to call his wife to say his last good byes. He also used it to briefly video their predicament.
For the next five hours, they both hung on to the cross until rescuers were finally able get them off the river.
Clara, who broke her ankle in the ordeal, is convinced Jesus saved them:
“When you pass through the waters I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;” (Isaiah 43: 2 RSV)