Floating Cross Helps Save Lives of Woman and Grandson in SC Flooding

Blythewood, SC

An elderly woman from South Carolina credits God and a floating red cross for keeping her and her grandson alive during swift flooding in Blythewood, South Carolina, last weekend.

Clara Gantt was attempting to drive to her church service on Sunday morning when the torrential rains that have soaked South Carolina caused sheets of water to wash her car into a ditch near the town of Blythewood.

Gantt told WIS TV in Columbia that she wasn’t aware of how bad the flooding was getting when she left home to attend church. “I knew there was water out there, but I didn’t know that it was going to stall me and it did,” she said.

Gantt told the TV reporters that her car was pushed and battered by the rising waters, and soon her vehicle was pushed into a ditch in front of a small local church.

The elderly woman called her grandson Travis Catchings, who was able to reach her, but by the time the young man got to her, the flood waters had risen too much for him to pull her from her car and get them both to safety.

Catchings was able to pry open the door against the force of the flood waters, but the water was too dangerous for the pair to try and leave the car.

Gantt then described what happened next:

“There was a little church right there. Where my car stopped was right beside a huge red cross,” Gantt said. The cross had been uprooted by the flood waters and had slammed up against Gantt’s car. “I was literally, after I got out of the car, holding onto the cross. I was clinging to the cross,” she said.

The pair waited over four hours for rescue workers to reach them, and Catchings was so distraught that he thought he might never see his wife again and called her to say goodbye.

“I really thought that was the last time that I was ever going to talk to her,” he said.

Fortunately for the two stranded motorists, rescue workers found them and, eventually, a rescuer named Brad Smith swam over and saved them.

“Jesus is my savior,” Gantt said thankfully. “This story is not about me; this is about what he did to save me.”

Clara Gantt suffered a broken ankle and hypothermia but is recovering. Her grandson was unharmed.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.