An Infant Survivor
My Name is Gayle Lofton, I was 22 months old at the time of the flood, So I don't remember what I am about to share, but my Parents and family members that were there had spoken of it many times as I was growing up. My family lived in a green two story apartment building that was located down in the East Boulevard/Prairie Market Area, along with the East Boulevard Motel as well. My dad had told me that It was a very hot and humid day and that he and my uncle Bob where down by the creek, when it had started running pretty fast, my mother said they had called for her to come look at the creek at which time she stated that she did and it started to get real loud and sound like a roar, she then ran back to the apartment building we lived in to get an elderly man out of his basement apartment and into the second story apartment my grandmother had lived in. I was then told that my dad and my uncle at some point had went to the motel and started trying to get people to evacuate, they later returned to the Apartment frustrated by the fact that some people did not want to leave. I was also told by my grandmother that they listened helplessly to the screams for help that slowly got quieter throughout the night, I believe that this still haunts my family to this day. Finally if things couldn't have been more terrifying, I was told that at one point the water level had reached below the window sills of the apartment that we were in, so my parents had to struggle with the possibility of having to swim with me to safety (my mother cannot swim). My dad decided that when the time came they would secure me to a children’s plastic blow-up chair of mine, he had then told my uncles that if something was to happen and he did not make it, they were to swim as far as they could with me, thank god that would not be the case. I believe the following day Red Cross arrived in a boat and took us to safety where we received clothing, food and vaccination shots. But I couldn't imagine the emotion and turmoil my family must have experienced not knowing our fate that night, I am and always will be grateful for my family for the sacrifices that they were willing to make for not only myself, but for others as well. My mom and my grandmother are still with us, but my dad Alfred (JB) Lofton and my uncle Bob Lofton are no longer with us, but I have to say that I was blessed to have shared my life with two very special men, who along with my mother and grandmother will always be my heroes!
“Gayle Lofton,” Flood of 1972, accessed September 30, 2022, https://1972flood.omeka.net/items/show/513.