Family saved from rising floodwaters


Tuesday, August 19th 2008, 2:12 pm
By: News 9


News9.com

YUKON, Okla. - After a year of renovations, Valerie Wagner was relieved to move furniture into her home on Monday.

The relief turned to panic Tuesday as rising flood waters threatened her home and children -- exactly one year after a flood initially damaged their Canadian County home.

"It looked like a lake rising," Valerie Wagner said. "The water comes up on one side first as the creek is on the other side. As soon as the creek comes up, it just swallows the house whole."

The Wagner's home was damaged in flooding Aug. 19, 2007 as remnants of Tropical Storm Erin moved through the state.

"Last year when we got flooded out, we evacuated before the water was too bad, so I was able to get my van out," she said. "This year it just happened so fast."

The slow-moving storms have dumped record-breaking rainfall and flooded low-lying areas. The rising water forced authorities to close several state highways and metro city streets.

     Related Story: Record rainfall floods state

Wagner said she called 911 as the water quickly approached her house. Firefighters used a boat to carry Wagner and her two children to safety.

Wagner's husband, Chad, said Tuesday's flood marked the third time in 11 years their house has flooded.

He rushed home from work when he got the news, but discovered he couldn't get to his family.

"I had a couple of choices. I could go get my jon boat and try to get them myself," Chad Wagner said. "The guy from emergency management told me it would be better if I called fire and rescue."

Cameron, Chad Wagner's son, said the water has been higher in the past.

"Last year, we got flooded and we had a foot in our house," Cameron Wagner said.

Valerie Wagner said since the flooding, the family has decided it's time to move elsewhere, leaving the house that has been in the family since 1940.

The couple has lived there since 1995.

"It's disheartening," he said. "God won't put anything on you- anymore than you can handle. I just wish I couldn't handle so much."