Grandma Clings to Giant Cross for 5 Hours in SC Flood
Clara Gantt and her grandson thought they were done for
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2015 9:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you." That's the Bible passage Clara Gantt read out loud as she was interviewed by WIS about an ordeal she won't soon forget. The South Carolina woman was heading to church near Blythewood in the pouring rain around 6am Sunday when a hidden sheet of floodwater swept her car into the current. She immediately called 911 (no one answered, she says), then her family. As she waited for help, all sorts of thoughts went through her head. "I said, 'Dear Lord, are you taking me home right now?'" she tells the station. Her grandson, Travis Catchings, finally got to the scene where his grandmother's car had floated: a churchyard.

That's when Gantt says divine intervention kicked in. With a harness and rope, Catchings managed to push the car door open despite the rushing water. "It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," he says, per NBC News. Right in front of Gantt's car was a giant red cross, and that's what the two clung to for the frightening five hours until rescuers came. Catchings even called his wife from their perch, thinking it was the last time he'd speak to her. "It was the hardest phone call I've ever made," he tells WIS. "I just told her that I loved her." Gantt, who suffered a broken ankle and hypothermia, doesn't think the cross was an accident. "Jesus is my savior," she says. "This story is not about me, it's about what he did to save me. And he set my feet on higher ground." At least 17 people have died in the South Carolina floods, including two pulled from a submerged vehicle Wednesday night, per the Weather Channel.

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