“We survived by the Grace of God, it was his protection,” was how an emotional Kory League explained he and his wife’s rescue by boat from flood waters Friday morning. Kory and Christina League and their four dogs were among four Stratton households that lost most of everything, but are still alive.
It was likely the most harrowing experience of their lives. “Jake Sutton and Patrick Lorens, they are our guardian angels and we owe them our lives quite literally,” said Kory.
Sutton and Lorens were two rescuers in one of the three boats used to save people from The Muddy Creek flash flood.
When the League’s went to bed Thursday night they had no idea what the sunrise would bring Friday morning. Kory said his daughter-in law called him about 6am to ask if they were alright. “I was like, yea, what’s up,” he said. “She said there is water everywhere. I put my feet on the floor and was ankle deep in water and I thought I had a water leak.” He explained that in less that 30 minutes the water was chest deep in the house adding that he is 6 foot 3inches tall.
“It just hit. Our front porch came up out of the ground and was blocking the front door,” he said. “I just had my second knee replacement surgery a week ago. There was water halfway up our house windows. On top of this the electricity is still on so our lights are flickering”. He went on to say he waded by the kitchen with a floating chest freezer, that was still running, to get to the bedroom to get their dogs that were laying on the bed that was also floating. “So, how in God’s name we didn’t get electrocuted, I don’t know.”
Kory kept calling 911 and the first rescue attempt, he said, was with what was like a big Army truck. “It was bogging out because the water was so deep “ he said. “They then came in a boat.” They were going to break out the living room window, but all of the furniture was floating in front of the window and in the way.
“We somehow made it to our back door, past a baby gate and the floating freezer with four dogs, got the door open, and got in the boat and they paddled us back over to highway.”
He had to climb in the boat with water and the edge of the boat above his head. “The top of the boat was almost the top of the doorway,” Kory explained. “With my knee replacements, I had to use all upper body strength to get in and I ended up just rolling into the boat.”
By Friday evening Kory had finally stopped shivering because of the cold water, but was still in shock from the experience. “I am grateful that my wife and I made it out alive, and my neighbors.”
The Leagues are staying with their son and daughter-in law for the time until they can put their life together and start a new home. Kory said on Friday night that he couldn’t even think about the next steps in putting their lives back together yet.
The next step for the community is to start the clean-up which will be extensive on the west side of town. While the damage is extensive in this area it should not diminish the water damage and stress that many other Stratton residents are also facing in the aftermath.
The community of Palisade has also been hit exceptionally hard.
God Bless and many thanks to the first responders and community volunteers that jumped in boats to save their neighbors lives.