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Flood Waters Are No Match For Local Bravery

Scott McDonald, Kyle Sutton and Jake McLain in the backhoe took time to visit about the rescue Friday Morning.

The residents of four Stratton homes lost just about everything after rescuers used boats to save them from flood waters early Friday morning.
For a second time in two weeks, a night of torrential rain brought flooding to southwest Nebraska. Rain amounts as high as 7 to 12 inches stretching from the northern half of Dundy and Hitchcock County thru Red Willow County resulted in flash flooding and fast rising waters forcing creeks and rivers out of their banks.
The Muddy Creek, which meanders from north of Max to the west edge of Stratton, crossing Highway 34 before joining the Republican River southwest of Stratton. The entire creek basin runs in the area that had the heaviest rainfall.
Jake McLain of Stratton was helping the county and county commissioner Scott McDonald remove flooding debris with a back hoe from Road 353 going south out of Stratton late Friday morning before the flood waters forced him to stop.
McLain said prior to 6am this morning there was a wall of water, mud, and trees roaring down the Muddy Creek, hitting the west edge of town. “I saw that coming down through there,” he said. “I was heading up to work at the east bridge, water was coming over it and I said screw this and I came back to town. I could see that wall of water coming down The Muddy. Trees started going through the park.”
The flood waters rose rapidly, quickly rising through nearby corn fields then to the baseball fields, mud bog pits, the community park, then across Highway 34 to the railroad line and into a residential area of Stratton.
Scott McDonald said that Jake Sutton, a Stratton Fireman, asked him to go get his boat as some people needed rescued from the flood. McDonald said he got his boat and unloaded it on the north side of the park. He said there were two other boats also in the water to help in the rescue.
The three boats rescued five people and four dogs from four houses.
Kyle Sutton, who was one of the rescuers, and McDonald said, one of the people who was rescued was taken by ambulance. She had health issues and was very cold, possibly hypothermic.
It was not an easy rescue because of all the debris. McDonald said the electricity was still on to the homes, one house they had to peel away plastic lattice that was in the way, a floating freezer, and other debris. By the time they were able to get to the houses and the residents the water was already chest and even neck high on them. “They were standing there, one of them was even crouched in the window,” said Sutton. “ It came quick. We got them all out”

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