Home is badly damaged when Hoover man breaks through sheetrock to save family from flood, but house is destroyed
When he thinks about what might have been, LaMontay Pinkard gets emotional.
Pinkards Hoover townhome was hit by flood waters a week ago, leaving him with no choice but to dig through the sheetrock to get his fianc, LaVon Carter, and 2-year-old daughter, Shelby, to safety.
Pinkard said through tears that he's just thankful that my family is OK. Im just thankful my daughter didnt lose her life before she had a chance to live it, she said.
Hoover was one of the cities hardest hit by the Oct. 6 flash floods, which saw 11 to 12 inches of rain fall in some areas of Hoor.
At an emergency meeting Tuesday, the Hoover City Council approved more than $1 million in emergency repairs for public infrastructure such as roads and drainage systems to prevent recurring damage.
Hoover City Administrator Allen Rice said the city is working with the Emergency Management Agency in both Jefferson and Shelby counties to educate Houber residents on how to report damage, request an assessment of damage and seek federal assistance.
Pinkard and Carter lost almost everything in the flood.
Their townhome is situated in a small valley and had to deal with the heavy rain.
Their insurance isnt covering the loss. Carters sister has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the family get back on their feet. Donations may be made here.
Rushing waters had breached their home, flowing past their doors and through the walls, filling every room of their house on the bottom and mid-level of the condominium. Tonya Barnes, Carters sister, wrote on the GoFundMe, Their furniture was afloat.
Years of paying fees and premiums had been nothing. The safeguards they believed they had in place to assist in the event of a disaster, ended up only protecting the interests of their suppliers. My sister and her partner are hard workers, responsible citizens, and excellent parents. But following the rules and doing whats right this time has worked against them. They will need help if they want to move forward. Barnes stated, "The people who worked there were the people that worked at the time."
Ivy Hills is located just off Loch Ridge Trail, and neighbors describe what happened there that night as heartbreaking, especially for Pinkard and his family.
Pinkard said the night began like any other.
Pinkard decided to take a shower after consuming dinner and watching some television.
The sound of running water suddenly rang out. Carter thought Pinkard must be taking a shower in the other bathroom and Carter assumed Pinkiff was doing the same.
Carter went to investigate, and it was then that she saw the Unimaginable.
She immediately called my name again. It sounded urgent, so I rushed out of the bathroom, and she was looking at her phone, which I thought was a phone call, he said. She was looking down the stairs and making a video.
The door to enter is between the first and second floors, depending on the position of the home. Its on the bottom of a hill.
Upstairs were the three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Downstairs, there were the living areas, dining room, and kitchen.
Pinkard said he was shocked when a stream of water rushed in from the sea. I didnt know what was going on, but when I saw the amount of water that was rushing down the stairs, I realized that this was our entry and exit, he says.
I immediately thought if its down there with that much water, it's going to be over the outlets, he said. I started thinking maybe the water may be electrified and we cant go out there.
The bedroom wall was located adjacent to the garage, and Pinkard decided that was the only exit.
Carter quickly threw some clothing into two duffle bags, placing his daughter on the bed. Pinkard put her on top of Carter's bed, putting her in the same position.
I told her, Im going to knock through this sheetrock after she got all of our belongings together. I dont know how much water is on the other side so yall get on your beds.'
He poked a hole but ran into electrical wire. He moved to the side a bit and tried again, making an opening through which they would exit.
Carter had the garage door opener, and they were going to make a run for it.
When I opened the garage door, it was at night and dark, but I could see the shimmer of the water, the wave of water, Pinkard said. The water outside the garage was actually higher than the water in the parking lot, so me opening the door allowed more water into.
Pinkard said, I grabbed my 2-year-old and put her on my side, and I grabbe a duffle bag and she grabbes the other, he added. We squeezed through the 16-inch opening in the framework. We waded through the water until we got outside, says McDaniel.
Carter and Shelby took cover in one of them, while Pinkard attempted to figure out how to stop the flow of cars outside. The cars were found unharmed, and Carter was able to get into one.
Pinkard said it was just so chaotic" the day before. I didnt want to be panicked, he said. It all began to sink in when I got my family to safety.
He thought briefly about their belongings, but knew it was a lost cause. Instead, he began to help his neighbors.
We were in waist-deep water picking leaves out of drains to let the water recede and minimize the damage, he said.
Pinkards townhome was severely damaged. The water was as high as three feet, breaking a support beam and blowing out sash windows.
Some of the bedroom furniture upstairs was salvageable, but not much else. What intrigues Pinkard the most is the thought that his family might have been hurt or worse.
Shelby often played in a bouncy house on the bottom level, while Pinkard and Carter watched TV nearby. Had she been in that bouncy house when the water came in, she would have panicked and tried to get to us, and that water wouldve flushed her down into the basement, causing me to lose my child, she said.
Pinkard stated that they are staying with their families until they decide on their options. He said he knows a lot of people are suffering, whether it's from flooding, the epidemic, or other causes.
He stated he doesnt want to be a burden on anyone, but if there is damage done, reassurance should be given to others.
Pinkard said people don't realize the severity of some people's ordeal they're going through. It was an awful experience. Ive never experienced anything like it, she said.