Lisbon man escapes the grip of floodwaters
A man dived out a window as floodwaters smashed his house.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Glen and Cindy Lindner were concerned about William.
The couple watched helplessly early Saturday morning as William's house, carried by raging floodwaters of the Mill Site Creek, crashed into the bridge a few yards from their Pritchard Avenue home.
They later found that William survived and was taken to a local hospital, but they don't know his last name. They would like to know how he is doing after his weekend ordeal.
Glen said it was around 12:30 a.m. Saturday when the first of two apartment buildings, then William's house were knocked off their foundations and hurled into the creek.
"Where the bridge railing is all bent up there, that's where his house smashed into it," Glen said. "The house got hung up and it buckled under the bridge. He was hanging out the window screaming. Me and some firefighters were trying to get ropes to him, but there was just so much water, we couldn't get near him.
"We just talked to him and tried to calm him down and we told him we were trying to get him," Glen continued. "We thought if he didn't drown, he'd just have a heart attack because he was so scared."
It wasn't until later at the Red Cross shelter in the gymnasium at Lisbon High School that Glen and Cindy learned that William survived. Firefighters had plucked him from a tree downstream.
Cindy, a registered nurse, talked to people at the shelter and checked them for injuries. William was one of those people.
She said he went to an area hospital because he needed more care than she could give. She treated his numerous cuts and abrasions, but she was most worried about his irregular heartbeat.
"He said his name was William," Cindy said. "That's all I know. He told me he just finally dove out the window."
"He dove into about 25 feet of water," Glen said. "He said he grabbed onto a tree and the water was just rushing around him. We couldn't believe he survived. We couldn't see anything but we think he went under the bridge. Then we didn't hear anything for awhile, so we thought he drowned for sure."
Meanwhile, Glen and Cindy were having troubles of their own. By the time they convinced Cindy's mother Norena Wilson, a 65-year-old invalid that they had to evacuate, the water was rushing down Pritchard Avenue past their house.
Paramedics waded through waist-deep water as they took Wilson to the ambulance.
Cindy said the current was fast as she tried to cross the street to her car. The current knocked her off her feet, but police caught her and kept her from going under.
On Monday, Glen and Cindy were back at the house to begin the task of cleaning up their flooded basement. Nearly four feet of water rushed in through a basement window.
A group of men and boys from the Mount Joy Mennonite Church in Leetonia arrived to help them.
"It was great," Glen said. "They did in about an hour what would have taken us weeks to do."
Dealing with the loss will be the next hurdle, they said.
"The bad thing for everyone around here is there is no insurance," Cindy said. "We tried to get flood insurance, but they told us we couldn't. They told us we aren't on a flood plain."