Flooding forces some families out of their homes in Ray County

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RICHMOND, Mo. — Flooding has been a big problem in Ray County, Missouri, north of the Kansas City metro. Two days of rain wasn’t welcome by people who have already been devastated by flooding.

During a normal rain, the river that runs behind Lorne Crawford’s house floods downstream near the bridge, but not this time.

“I went ahead and walked perimeter of my yard and noticed that the bank on the river was breached, which normally isn’t breached,” Crawford said. “This is as high as I’ve seen in a long time.”

Crawford’s house was quickly swallowed up by the water. His yard became a lake and his chicken were stuck on an island.

“Once I seen it was high enough, I thought I better leave. So I grabbed the dog and threw him in the truck,” Crawford said of his escape. “It’s just an act of nature. I mean, you can’t do nothing about it but just stand here and watch.”

Not too far from Crawford’s home, Hannah Hurst and her boyfriend weren’t so lucky.

The water that surrounded their home was too deep and was running too quickly to escape. When it began pouring into their home, that’s when the couple knew they were in deep trouble.

“It’s scary and you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Hurst said. “Everyone that lives around there said they’ve never seen it get that bad, so we never imagined that happening, especially happening out of nowhere like that.”

Richmond Fire Chief Mike Sowder responded to Hurst’s call for help. When he realized the water was too deep to get a truck in, he called the Lawson Fire District for assistance.

“We wanted to get to them to make sure everyone was OK because the boat was coming from another department,” Sowder said. “Two of us put on life vests, and we had a rescue line and extra life vests for them. We walked down the blacktop, and it was came chest deep.”

Hurst is grateful for that heroic effort.

“With everything that was going on, they got there in a pretty timely fashion,” she said. “We couldn’t appreciate it more.”

As the rain continued to fall Friday, fire companies throughout Ray County were prepared for a busy night ahead.

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