When Red Oak Creek overcame its banks Saturday, Victoria Kennard and her family took shelter in the bathroom of their mobile home in Ripley, Ohio. Sadly, the waters swept them all downriver, killing Kennard and her two youngest kids.
Gabriel Barrios, 7, and his sister Rose were found dead the next day. Their mom, Victoria, 32, was six months pregnant, the Ripley Bee reported. Kennard’s fiancé and father to Gabriel and Rose, 47-year-old Tony, as well as two of their sons, were also swept away.
They survived. One of the kids, a boy, was found in a tree, the Associated Press added.
A neighbor, Shelley Scroufe, had nothing but nice words about the family, according to WLWT.
“I had all the Kennard kids in school. We’ll all pull together. We’ll help this family because they’re good people. They’re just good, hard working honest folk.”
The family was swept away as Ohio was pounded with a downpour Saturday; at one point, four inches fell in an hour, The New York Times added. Much of the Eastern U.S. suffered the same weather, but Ripley, Ohio, bore the brunt, added NBC News.
“The creek has never run like this,” one resident said come Sunday as he and others in this small town surveyed the damage, the Bee reported.
The paper’s account is dramatic. The flood that swept away the pregnant mom and her small children was swift and powerful, ripping their trailer off its foundation and shooting “barrels and propane tanks … down the road like being shot out of a cannon. (U)nbelievably the asphalt was pulled up off of the surface and… deposited in the yards of residents.”
Eyewitness said their mobile home was split in half by the flood, then swept away down the creek and rent into smaller pieces as it crashed through the trees along the waterway. Neighbors reported hearing them inside, screaming.
Barrios and his two boys were found early Sunday, about two hours after the disaster. Rose was found later that morning, about 9 a.m. The surviving family members are currently being treated in the hospital.
Ripley is about an hour from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is home to only 2,000 people.
Heavy rains also inundated the California desert, where the deluge caused a bridge to collapse into the floodwaters, the Associated Press reported. Unlike the tragedy in Ohio, no one was killed in this incident, though one man was hurt. Many others were stranded.
— #NBC7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) July 20, 2015
The bridge lies along Interstate 10. Usually, the land below is dry, but floodwaters were gushing beneath it Sunday and it simply fell away. Interstate 10 is the most direct route between Phoenix and Southern California, and authorities say the damage is so extensive that the roadway will be closed indefinitely.
Hundreds of cars were stuck after the collapse, and in the coming months, untold thousands will be diverted to Interstates 8 and 40 — hundreds of miles out of the way.
Pamela Browne, 53, and her daughter were one of the stranded.
“Oh my God, we are so stuck out here. There’s no end to the cars that are stuck out here.”
[Photo Courtesy Twitter]