NEW BRAUNFELS (KXAN) - The inside of Craig and Cathy Kneuper’s home is nothingless than a war zone after
But after the two retired firefighters saved a little girl'slife from the floods on Wednesday, none of that matters tothem.
The Guadalupe River rose almost three feet on the first floor;all their furniture and belongings - destroyed
"But we're alive. That's all that matters," Cathy said. "Ourdog, three cats and our lives. That's what it's all about."
It was early this morning, as the rains poured down, and theriver crept up to their back doorsteps, when they went to check outthe damage and the floods - when they saw the unthinkable.
"I looked out the back and saw this ... 11-year-old girl," Cathysaid. "She was out in the river behind our house, and I screamed.'We've got to save her.' We are retired firefighters."
Craig didn't hesitate.
"He jumped in the water, swam out and got her.”
Said Craig: "I was able to grab her. She was a brave littlegirl, strong. I screamed at her that she had to swim hard. And Iswam out to her and got her and just got her back…it happenedfast."
The young girl, who was wearing a life jacket at the time, hadbeen swept downstream from a campground nearly 6 miles upstream.She had been in the water for nearly two hours.
"If she didn’t have a life vest, she wouldn’t havelived," he said. "If I hadn’t seen her then I doubt she wouldhave made it because there was just so much debris in the water. Iwas getting pummeled with firewood coming up the eddy hitting mewhen I had her in my arms."
The girl's parents were also swept downstream.
"They stayed in the back of their pickup truck until their trucksunk in the river," Cathy said. "Then the mother grabbed on to atree, and the father and daughter got separated."
"They just told her to be brave, and to just know that someonewould rescue her. And with God’s help, he spoke to us and sawher and we rescued her."
Several other rescues happened. More than 100 calls poured infor rescues and evacuations as the fast-moving water caught manycampers and residents by surprise.
But despite the loss of many of the Kneuper’s possessions,they're thankful some more precious valuables were saved.
"I don’t care about anything in my house," Craig said."That she's OK is all that matters."
Added his wife: "And you know what? We're OK, too."
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