LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -A Lawton couple says they narrowly escaped their flooded home after they were forced to an use an ax to chop their way out through the roof.
They say Sunday's mass flooding caught them so off guard they retreated to their attic to wait out high water in the Kingsbriar neighborhood in northeast Lawton. Cathy Walker said her quick-thinking husband, Shane, grabbed what turned out to be lifesaving tools on their way up to the attic. She says shortly after seeking the highest ground in her home, they realized it wasn't high enough.
The couple was taken over by sheer panic. They said the water was rushing so hard outside of their home it sounded like a roaring rapid. From the attic, they started calling 911, but it was a plea to Facebook, combined with her husband's actions, that ultimately saved their lives.
"I tried calling out. I called 911 and I couldn't get through. I called my dad and I couldn't get to anybody. I couldn't get to any friends or anybody, and I tried to text and it still couldn't get out. I finally got on Facebook and posted 'We're in our attic, someone please help,'" Walker said.
While still inside her attic, Cathy said her husband did his best to calm her after several calls to 911 failed.
"I thought we were going to die. I really did. I didn't know what was going to happen. We were sitting up there and we could start we could feel the garage swaying and my husband kept telling me 'calm down, calm down, if it goes...if the house collapses you have to hang onto a tree. You have to grab a tree and just don't worry about me...grab a tree,'" she said.
After several more attempts to 911, Cathy got through. She says the 911 dispatcher told she and her husband had to get out. That's when he grabbed the ax he had carried up on the way to the attic and went to work.
"He started chopping a hole in the roof so we could get out on to the top of the roof," Cathy explained.
She says once outside she was relieved to see her neighbors, one of which had seen her post to Facebook and went to get help. She says several neighbors started gathering supplies across the street for their rescue.
"They started tying stuff down and people started working together...people I don't even know. Just people from the community and they tied stuff to the tree and made it all the way over here," she said.
Cathy says it was one of the scariest situations she's ever been in. She says she is forever grateful for her neighbors, friends and family. She said she and her husband had just finished remodeling their house and though they've lost everything, they're just thankful to be alive.