‘We actually ran for our lives’: Flood victims share survival as cleanup continues

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    SWITZERLAND COUNTY, Indiana (WLWT) — On-and-off again rain storms continued to pour over Southeastern Indiana Monday as crews spent Labor Day working to clear debris and restore power.

On Saturday, flooding caused creeks and portions of the Ohio River to rise in parts of Jefferson and Switzerland counties.

On Monday, Switzerland County Emergency Management Director Tom Moore told WLWT that close to a dozen structures were damaged along with bridges and roads.

In total, he estimated damages costs would be in the millions of dollars. He said it would be days before all power is restored.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Moore said. “Flash flooding is a tremendous force.”

Still, the dueling forces of nature and kindness were on display. As crew and homeowners cleans roads, bridges and properties, Jeremy and Sarah Robinson served up free meals from their Holy Smokin’ food truck. The couple has suffered tremendous loss in losing their own home to fire in 2013 and their son in the last year so they felt compelled to give back to their community.

“I was raised this way. I mean, try and help your neighbor. It’s what it’s about down here,” Jeremy Robinson said.

The couple plans to serve three meals a day to first responders, flood survivors and repair crews through Wednesday. The Robinsons are collecting donations at their serving spot at 2976 Highway 250 in Vevay, IN. Robinson said all donations will be personally divided up and delivered to flood victims.

One Vevay fgagfgy6family who received food, water and trash bags from the Robinsons and county clean-up crew is Jarrid Mueller and his family. The family says they were preparing for dinner when the drizzle turned into a deluge. They had a matter of seconds to escape the rising flood waters of West Fork Indian Creek on Saturday night.

“It was a tsunami from bridge to bridge,” Mueller said of the flooding affecting his home. “And we’re talking about some acreage and it just engulfed it in seconds.”

“I got into the house and the water was already coming through the floors,” Mueller said. “Immediately, I grabbed my mom,” he said of his 72-year-old mother-in-law. He said he and the four other family members in the house escaped to higher ground to a nearby family member’s cabin. “We actually ran for our lives up to the top of the hill.”

In total, Mueller said their home took on four feet of water. On Monday, he showed WLWT how he and his family members were able to save just four bags and a tote’s worth of belongings.

“But the biggest thing is we got is a community that loves us. And we love them just as much. And we got a lot of family support and we’re gonna be blessed. We’re alive so we’re very thankful,” Mueller said.

Currently, Mueller and his family are staying in his nephew’s home nearby and plan to rebuild their home in the same spot. The family said they did not have flood insurance and started this GoFundMe to aid their future rebuilding efforts.

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