Flooding in Florence after Marion Reservoir releases water

Posted: Updated:

"We thought it was safe to go to sleep," says Florence resident Loretta Looney.

Loretta Looney woke up early Friday morning to flood waters rushing inside her home.

"The dog was paddling in the water, splashing in the water against the bed, trying to get out of it," says Looney.

Late Thursday afternoon, the Army Corps of Engineers released water from the Marion County Reservoir. The Looney's were downstream in Florence, trapped.

"When that first person answered the phone, it was kind of a relief," says Looney.

Huge tire tracks from a fire truck still remain outside the house, where firefighters rescued Looney and her husband.She says once they were safe, her thoughts immediately raced to her horses.

"I need my horses to be alive," says Looney.

She was sure they'd drown, but her son spotted a nose. Pictures from Friday show him wading out in chest high water to lead the horses to safety. A silver lining for Looney, because otherwise, she's lost everything.

"I don't have anything. It's little realizations of the little things that you take for granted everyday that you don't have anymore."

The Corps of Engineers says the release had to happen.

"The downstream flooding would have been significantly worse if the release hadn't been there," says David Williams, with the Corps of Engineers.

Looney is relying on what she does have left, her family and her friends, who haven't left her side.

"I'm so thankful for my friends. They've been here everyday. Helping me."

Looney says she and her husband thought they were safe because they did not receive any warnings. In the past, they've word through the Army Corps of Engineers Facebook page, but this time, there were no posts regarding the water release. 

If you would like to donate to the family, you can do so here.

  • NEWSNewsMore>>

  • Deer collisions on the rise, auto body shops see increase in damaged cars

    Deer collisions on the rise, auto body shops see increase in damaged cars

    It's been a busy week at Flinthills Collision Center in El Dorado.  Fourteen cars, including a Butler County Sheriff's car, were brought in after colliding with a deer.  

    It's been a busy week at Flinthills Collision Center in El Dorado.  Fourteen cars, including a Butler County Sheriff's car, were brought in after colliding with a deer.  

  • Mayoral candidates consider future of downtown Wichita

    Mayoral candidates consider future of downtown Wichita

    Mayoral Candidates, Jeff Longwell and Brandon Whipple, faced off in the KAKE Studios Tuesday night.  The two offered differing views on their vision for Wichita, but they both agree that the future of the river is crucial for the entire city. 

    Mayoral Candidates, Jeff Longwell and Brandon Whipple, faced off in the KAKE Studios Tuesday night.  The two offered differing views on their vision for Wichita, but they both agree that the future of the river is crucial for the entire city. 

  • Highway speed tolling opening at southern terminal

    Highway speed tolling opening at southern terminal

    The Kansas turnpike's southern terminal has been undergoing some big changes, to make your ride faster and smoother. It's your pass to the open road. the Kansas turnpike is introducing highway speed tolling at the southern terminal, all part of a 55 million dollar project to improve tolls.  "We have two new lanes which will now be able to keep you at high speeds and never slow down if you have a K-TAG," says Steve Hewitt. Not only is it a faster way of traveling, it'...

    The Kansas turnpike's southern terminal has been undergoing some big changes, to make your ride faster and smoother. It's your pass to the open road. the Kansas turnpike is introducing highway speed tolling at the southern terminal, all part of a 55 million dollar project to improve tolls.  "We have two new lanes which will now be able to keep you at high speeds and never slow down if you have a K-TAG," says Steve Hewitt. Not only is it a faster way of traveling, it'...