Woman is saved from Ida by husband when car got caught in floodwaters


Katherine Bauer was trapped in a car with Hurricane Ida’s floodwaters rushing in when her husband Dan in the driver’s seat shoved her through the cracked rear windshield, shouting ‘go, go, go!’

‘I thought he was right behind me,’ Katherine cried during an exclusive interview Friday with DailyMail.com, recalling the tragic night for the first time from her hospital bed in the far northern suburbs of Philadelphia.

The couple were attending their daughter Sophie’s college volleyball game in Center Valley early Wednesday evening when the rain began to pick up.

Sophie’s team lost the game, but her father Dan gave her a pep talk afterward.

‘It was a rough game for us, but he told me to keep my head up and to keep playing,’ Sophie told DailyMail.com. ‘He said he loved me and I hugged him and my mom goodbye.’

Katherine Bauer was trapped in a car with Hurricane Ida’s floodwaters rushing in when her husband Dan in the driver’s seat shoved her through the cracked rear windshield, shouting ‘go, go, go!’

The couple were attending their daughter Sophie's  (pictured with her father Dan and brother Darby) college volleyball game in Center Valley early Wednesday evening when the rain began to pick up

The couple were attending their daughter Sophie’s  (pictured with her father Dan and brother Darby) college volleyball game in Center Valley early Wednesday evening when the rain began to pick up

Katherine, 54 and her 65-year-old husband (pictured on their wedding day) hopped into their Mazda SUV and started to head home after the game, but the floodwaters were rising so they had to take several detours down routes they’d never driven before

Katherine, 54 and her 65-year-old husband (pictured on their wedding day) hopped into their Mazda SUV and started to head home after the game, but the floodwaters were rising so they had to take several detours down routes they’d never driven before

Katherine, 54 and her 65-year-old husband hopped into their Mazda SUV and started to head home, but the floodwaters were rising so they had to take several detours down routes they’d never driven before.

They stopped at a hardware store to try to buy a sump pump for Katherine’s mother, whose house was at risk of flooding. Then they continued on their drive home to unincorporated Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania, taking a turn down Trumbauersville Road.

As they approached a creek, a wall of water came rushing across the roadway.

‘All of a sudden a tidal wave of water came over the windshield and, within seconds, our engine died,’ Katherine said. ‘We struck a house, which broke out our rear window. It was dark and we were floating, gaining water.’

Vehicles are under water during flooding in Philadelphia, Thursday, in the aftermath of downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida that hit the area

Vehicles are under water during flooding in Philadelphia, Thursday, in the aftermath of downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida that hit the area 

Kayakers paddel down a portion of Interstate 676 after flooding from heavy rains from hurricane Ida in Philadelphia. Flash flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida killed at least 44 people in four northeastern US states overnight into Thursday, including several who perished in basements during the "historic" weather event officials blamed on climate change

Kayakers paddel down a portion of Interstate 676 after flooding from heavy rains from hurricane Ida in Philadelphia. Flash flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida killed at least 44 people in four northeastern US states overnight into Thursday, including several who perished in basements during the ‘historic’ weather event officials blamed on climate change 

Vehicles are under floodwater from Schuylkill River in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia, Thursday. Dan Bauer was one of several who didn't make it out of their vehicles alive

Vehicles are under floodwater from Schuylkill River in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia, Thursday. Dan Bauer was one of several who didn’t make it out of their vehicles alive 

Katherine was on her cell phone speaking with her 23-year-old son, Darby, when they came to a stop. After striking the house, she called 911.

She and her husband were shouting into the phone.

‘The 911 operator’s like, ‘Stop shouting, where are you?’ she recalled.

‘And I’m like, ‘We don’t know where we are.’

The water continued to rise.

‘We were like, we have to get out now,’ she said.

They unfastened their seatbelts. She climbed over the console into the back seat, as her husband shouted at her to jump out.

‘He pushed me out,’ she said.

Suddenly, she found herself floating downstream. ‘I grabbed the nearest branch and held on,’ she said.

‘I kept yelling for help, hoping someone would hear me,’ she said. ‘Then the branch started to break.’

‘I put myself in God’s hands and let go,’ she said.

She floated to another tree just downstream.

‘I grabbed on and was just praying,’ she said. ‘The water was rising, and I climbed higher on the tree branch.’

Then she saw a light in the distance and heard someone yell.

‘I’m here!’ she shouted back, though the stranger couldn’t reach her.

The morning after Katherine was rescued, two state troopers walked into her hospital room with the tragic news that her husband's body had been recovered. He never made it out of the vehicle

The morning after Katherine was rescued, two state troopers walked into her hospital room with the tragic news that her husband’s body had been recovered. He never made it out of the vehicle

Dan worked as a bus driver for 15 years and used to transport his own children to school

Dan worked as a bus driver for 15 years and used to transport his own children to school

Moments later, she saw firetrucks on the other side of the creek. Another 20 minutes passed, she said.

‘Help, I’m still here!’ she recalled shouting.

What she didn’t hear was her husband’s voice.

‘I wasn’t hearing my husband at all, and was just thinking, ‘He saved me. He saved me because my kids need me, my mother needs me.’

‘In my family, we joke that we’re very stubborn,’ she told DailyMail.com. ‘Stubborn can be a good thing. I decided, I’m not dying tonight. I didn’t make it this far to not make it.

‘I was just praying the branch wouldn’t give way,’ she added.

Rescuers finally reached her with a raft an hour after she escaped the vehicle.

‘They came up and grabbed me,’ she said. ‘It was hard getting in because I had no strength left to help them. I couldn’t even get my leg over the side.’

Katherine was taken to a firetruck, where she was wrapped in a blanket as emergency crews searched for her husband.

‘I thought he escaped, but they came back and said they had to stop the search because the current was too strong,’ she said.

She was taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Quakertown, with hypothermia, muscle damage and some scrapes and bruises.

Water from the Schuylkill River floods onto 26th street of apartment residents on Walnut Street in Philadelphia

Water from the Schuylkill River floods onto 26th street of apartment residents on Walnut Street in Philadelphia 

A kayaker paddles down a portion of Interstate 676 after flooding from heavy rains from hurricane Ida in Philadelphia

A kayaker paddles down a portion of Interstate 676 after flooding from heavy rains from hurricane Ida in Philadelphia 

A person walks on a flooded street as the Schuylkill River exceeds its bank in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, Thursday

A person walks on a flooded street as the Schuylkill River exceeds its bank in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, Thursday 

The next morning, two state troopers walked into her hospital room with the tragic news that her husband’s body had been recovered. He never made it out of the vehicle.

The SUV ended up nearly 200 yards downstream from the house it struck.

On Friday, the home’s owner, firefighter Terry Kane, told DailyMail.com that he helped rescue two other drivers whose cars smashed into the front of his house.

He used a hammer to smash the window of one vehicle and free the male driver who was nearly submerged. He said another driver, a woman, escaped her car and grabbed onto his door, where he managed to pull her inside.

Kane said he’d live there since the 1970s. I’m used to flooding,’ he said. ‘But this is the worst I’ve ever seen.’

In the hospital, exhausted Katherine Bauer described her situation as ‘really surreal.’

She was wearing a hospital gown and had an intravenous tube protruding from her arm.

‘I haven’t been home yet,’ she said, she said, as tears welled in her eyes.. ‘It’s really going to hit me hard when I get home and he’s not there.

The Schuylkill River overflow onto running trails on Walnut Street Bridge in Philadelphia

The Schuylkill River overflow onto running trails on Walnut Street Bridge in Philadelphia 

The Schuylkill River exceeds its bank in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia, Thursday, September 2, 2021 in the aftermath of downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida that hit the area

The Schuylkill River exceeds its bank in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia, Thursday, September 2, 2021 in the aftermath of downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida that hit the area 

‘He was my rock,’ she said of her husband of 26 years.

Dan worked as a bus driver for 15 years and used to transport his own children to school.

‘His bus route was our neighborhood and he knew all the kids by name,’ Katherine said. ‘They’d call him Mr. Don.’

‘Sometimes, I’d call him crusty because he had such a hard exterior, but he was so soft on the inside,’ Katherine said. ‘He’d do anything for anybody.’

Sophie, 19, said her dad would jokingly call himself the Grinch.

‘In reality he loved us all more than we could imagine,’ she said. ‘He’d worry about us all the time. He’d always check the oil in my car so it wouldn’t die and I wouldn’t get stuck anywhere.’

Sophie also noted her father absolutely hated the water. He’d go with the family each year to Assateague Island along the Atlantic coast in Maryland but would never set foot in the ocean.

‘He’d stay at the campground and sweep sand off the rugs and lay in the hammock and relax,’ she said.

Sophie had slept with her mom in the hospital room. Darby was also there Friday, holding his mother’s hand.

‘He hated the sand, hated the water, but he loved going with us,’ Darby told DailyMail.com. ‘He was always a selfless person. My mom wouldn’t have survived without him. He sacrificed himself for her.’



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button