Nathan Day heard screams and left his home to wade through floodwater that was over his head.
A man from Kentucky rescued three trapped children and two of his former teachers from rising floodwaters. Nathan Day, who lives in Knott county, was unaware of how dire things were when he woke up early on Thursday to help his son get ready for work. He got a message from his neighbor requesting help to save her grandchildren. "I didn't know what they was talking about, then I went outside. You heard a lot of people screaming and begging for anyone to help," he told CNN. Eastern Kentucky had been inundated with rains and experienced unprecedented levels of flooding. At least 37 people have died in the flooding, with hundreds still missing, reported Courier Journal.
Nathan Day knew he had to help the children and mothers stranded on the roof of their home but he had no boat to get to them. He and his wife, Krystal, decided to wade through water to get to them. It was 2 o'clock in the morning and the pair made it to the roof. "I put a child under each arm and one around my neck and took them back to my house. The oldest child was holding a small dog," said Day. "Water was over my head," he said. Once he had rescued the family, it dawned on him that his former high school English teacher, Ella Prater, and his second-grade teacher, Irma Gayheart could be in danger as well. They lived close by. "I just kept pacing back and forth because I saw the water rising and I knew my two former teachers were probably trapped in their houses," said Day. "It was heartbreaking."
He sought out the help of three neighbors to check on the teachers who lived alone. The rescue was timely as one of his teachers was sitting on the kitchen countertop watching the water rise. Day was a little worried after it took Gayheart a few minutes to answer the door but she eventually did and assured him she was okay. Day also rescued Prater. They held her "by both side of her arms and never looked back. We said, 'We have to go.'"
We are ending the day with more heartbreaking news out of Eastern Kentucky. We can confirm the death toll has now risen to 37, with so many more still missing. Let us pray for these families and come together to wrap our arms around our fellow Kentuckians. ^AB— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) August 1, 2022
Nathan Day shared a close relationship with his teachers and especially with Gayheart. "I wasn't going to leave her there because she's a special lady to me. You could tell by looking at her face that she was drained," said Day. "She spent the night on the kitchen counter top and the water was up by the countertop." He is just relieved that he could get them to safety. "These are two of the most special women you'll meet in your life, and when they show you love, they show you true love. They truly care about everyone that's around them and that stuck with me my whole life," said Day.
With hundreds still missing, Governor Andy Beshear has said the death toll is expected to increase over the coming days as crews arrive to survey the damage and search for victims. President Joe has already approved a major disaster declaration, which enables the use of emergency federal funding to assist recovery efforts. "We are only beginning to understand the extent of the destruction, and yet so many Louisvillians are stepping up and asking how they can help,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. Four siblings were among the victims of the flooding in Kentucky. The children aged in the range 1-8 were swept away from the grips of their parents and found dead later. "They managed to get to a tree and ... held the children a few hours before a big tide came and wash them all away at the same time,” said Brittany Trejo, a close family member, reported Kentucky.com “The mother and father were stranded in the tree for 8 hours before anyone got there to help,” said Trejo.
The Kentucky floods is a developing story, and we’ll update as we learn more. Information is swiftly changing and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.