Sunday, April 19, 2009

Almost Washed Away

Yesterday we had terrible storms in the Houston area. I had been out and about all day, first had my oil painting class in the morning and then did the make-n-take over at the Scrapbook Junkie. When it was time to pack up and go home the storms had peaked and there was quite the down pour.

Well I needed to get home to get my kids to their guitar lessons so I headed out into the storm. Not a very smart move I must say. It was definitely slow going and despite some high water I forged on through the rain. At one point I thought I was going to make it but the route I intended to take was blocked off because of high water. I cut through a parking lot and got back out on the interstate access road and kept moving.

Because I had already gotten through the high water once, I decided to keep going and that was a bad mistake. In the highest part of the water the engine on the van seized up and the engine died. I tried to restart but no luck. I didn't know what I was going to do. The water was so high and the wake from the other vehicles making through around me, caused my vehicle to float and loose a little ground. Then I noticed that the van started to take in water. "Oh God!" I prayed "Please help me through this. This is bad and I need your help."

I was frantic and despite trying to attract the attention of passers by I couldn't get anyone to help me. I sat alone and helpless in the high water. More and more water was coming into the car. I knew enough not to get out of the vehicle. I stayed put. I called my husband crying. He was at work and there was no way he could come and help me. Even if he had left work, the roads were so bad he would have never been able to get to me. There was desperation in his voice knowing he couldn't get to me.

I noticed that the traffic on the interstate was slowing down and I saw a green truck that had pulled over on the side of the road up on the interstate. Suddenly I saw a young man in a cowboy hat wading across the median, coming in my direction. I guess he could see the fear in my face. He asked me if he could help. I told him my car wouldn't start and that I there was about 3 inches of water in the floor board by this time. He told me to put the van in neutral and he got behind the van and pushed. I don't know how he did it but he pushed and pushed and pushed with is bare hands and brute strength, and pushed my van out of the water and on to higher ground. Thank God he was there. I do not know what I would have done. This young man told me to turn everything off in the car to preserve my battery and told me to lock the car doors. He asked me if I had a cell phone and I did and he told me to call roadside assistance; said the number was on my drivers license. I told him he was and Angel from God and thanked him over and over for his help. I will never forget his face.

Well I was out of the high water, but there I sat. The car would not start. The kids called me wondering where I was. I didn't tell them I was stranded because I didn't want them to worry. I told them I was stuck in traffic and that I was safe and that I would be home soon.

In the mean time, I talked to my husband again and he told me to leave the car sit for a while to let the water drain out of the exhaust and the engine and said to wait a while and then try it. Well I knew that something was wrong with the battery because it just made a buzzing noise when I tried to turn it over. A couple firemen and policemen waded by my car and asked if I was okay. I told them I was better, having been pushed out of the high water, but that I needed a wrecker. The firemen said that I would not be able to get a wrecker and to just sit tight. "Try to call someone to help you." she said. Sheesh. I was in a bad spot that is for sure. I watched as the firemen proceeded up the road and at one point the water was chest high. I cannot believe how high the water got in such a short period of time.

After about 2 1/2 hours I was getting desperate. The kids were calling me wondering when I was coming home and I began thinking I might have to sit there until dark. I started thinking about who I knew that had a high profile vehicle. I immediately thought about my next door neighbors. I knew their big truck would be able to get through the high water. I called them. Sure enough, Tim was there in less than 15 minutes. I could not believe it. I felt so relieved to see his truck pull up along side mine.

We tried to jump start the car the first time and it failed. Traffic was backing up behind his truck and he had to move out of the way. After the traffic cleared we decided to try it one more time. As he attached the jumper cables one more time I said a prayer "Dear Jesus, I need your help! Please make this work." And it did! The engine fired up. I let the engine rev for a little bit. In the mean time someone else that had stalled out asked Tim for a jump and he helped him too. Tim followed me home to safety.

As Tim stood there in the pouring rain, drenched from head to toe, I realized how blessed I am. First to have Tim and Theresa as friends. They were there when I needed them. Thanks guys! You are the best! And second, to have the compassion and caring of a total stranger to put himself in harms way to help me. I am humbled by this and feel blessed and fortunate. You know we hear everyday about how the world has gotten to be so cold and uncaring. While there maybe some truth to this statement, but I believe and have witnessed first hand that there are mostly very good people in this world. People that are willing to make sacrifices for friends, and in my case total strangers.

Well needless to say it was not the ending I would have liked for an otherwise wonderful day, but Thank God He was there with me through it all! I Thank God for the wonderful friends that I have that came in my time of need and I Thank God for the Cowboy Angel he sent to help me out of the high water. Who ever you are and where ever you are, know that I will always say a prayer for you!

My kids took these photos of the flood waters that tried to make their way up into the yard.


Jenny B in Indy said...

Oh WOW, I'm very sorry you went through that, chica. I'm glad you are okay! Thank God for that man.. I do believe he was sent by God for sure! Isn't it just amazing!?
My MIL's home flooded yesterday in two rooms, it's just a mess. She said mold has already started growing. We didn't know about this til this morning.. I was oblivious to it all, I guess.. I rarely see the news.
Sorry about what you went through.

Deanna said...

I am sooo glad you are safe! We got home about 10 minutes before the rain began. It looked like it was 9:00 at night instead of 2:00 in the afternoon - LOL.

Adoption & Fire said...

Wow Heidi! Your story is amazing! I am glad you came through okay and that you are safe and sound. Thank God for angels and good friends! Sometimes they are both!

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