IRMO, S.C. — A South Carolina woman is crediting the grace and mercy of God after she and her grandson survived the raging floodwaters by clinging to a cross outside a local church until they could be reached by rescuers.
Clara Gantt attempted to travel to church last Sunday from her home in Blythewood when her car was suddenly stalled out by the flooding. It was dark and rainy, and Gantt wasn’t aware of how severe the conditions were.
“I knew there was water out there, but I didn’t know that it was going to stall me,” she told local television station WIS-TV.
She called 911 for help, but no one answered. Gantt then dialed her family, and her grandson Travis Catchings set out to reach her.
In the meantime, her car began to float backwards into a field.
“I said, ‘Dear Lord, are you taking me home right now?'” Gantt recalled. “Immediately I flipped over to my back and it was like He said ‘No, not right now.'”
Catchings soon arrived, finding his grandmother’s car floating in the yard of Jordan Independent Church. Using a deer harness and rope, he was able to help his grandmother out of the car, but as the flood waters were raging so furiously, there was nowhere else to go.
As the car had stopped floating right next to a red cross in the churchyard, they both clung to the cross as they waited for help to arrive.
“There was a little church right there. Where my car stopped was right beside a huge, red cross,” Gantt told reporters. “I was literally, after I got out of the car, holding onto the cross. I was clinging to the cross.”
The two held on to the cross for nearly five hours until emergency workers found them. Both Gantt and Catchings feared still that they might lose their lives as Gantt fell off the boogie board and went into the water. Catchings called home to tell his wife that he loved her as he didn’t know if he would ever see her again.
But both were rescued successfully and were able to return home. Gantt suffered hypothermia and a broken ankle, but is thanking the Lord that she still has her life.
“Thanking God for His mercy and power. He put my feet on higher ground. Praising Him in the storms of life,” she posted on Facebook. “Thanks to all who have prayed for me and Travis.”