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.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE

  • Most Popular Stories

    • OKC Animal Welfare

      Animal shelter wants you to raid it instead of Area 51

      Before you storm Area 51, you might want to make a stop in Oklahoma. One animal shelter is inviting people to storm its Oklahoma City location and pick up some adorable tin-foil-hat-wearing critters to "protect you from the Area 51 aliens." 

    • WPD investigating after man shot, killed in Wichita

      Wichita Police are investigating after a man was shot and killed late Friday night.  

    • Officials are investigating a crash in north Wichita

      Before one on Saturday dispatchers responded to the area of 53rd street North and Gow for a crash leaving at least one person in critical condition.  

    • Erin Richwine, and her husband, Casey, have been planning their trip to the Dam Music Festival in El Dorado since last year. "Back in October, they had put out a deal on their website, it said the prices won't be any lower than this. Get them now, they're 89-bucks," says Casey Richwine.  Their group bought more than a dozen tickets, hoping to get the best deal, but months later, they realized they didn't. "July 4th, all of the sudden prices dropped to 50-bucks.&...

    • Brady Newman-Caddell (KCTV)

      Man sentenced in rape, kidnapping of Kansas deputy

      A Missouri man has been sentenced to 55 years in prison for kidnapping and raping a Kansas sheriff's deputy.

    • KCTV

      Body of missing 13-year-old boy recovered from Kansas lake

      Authorities have recovered the body of  a 13-year-old boy in Clinton Lake in the Lawrence area.

    • Family of baby that was cut from slain mother's body still receiving bills for his care

      A Chicago family can’t seem to wake from the nightmare they faced when a young mom was murdered in April and had her newborn -- who died about two months later -- cut from her stomach. 

    • Residents taking advantage of fishing salvage in Newton

      Newton residents are taking advantage of the fishing salvage, where they can fish with hands, nets or rods and reels.

    • Authorities: Missing toddler drove battery-powered tractor to county fair

      A 2-year-old Minnesota boy was apparently so eager to get to a county fair that he drove back himself on his toy John Deere tractor. 

    • Kansans react to new state vaccination rules

      The KDHE says Kindergarten and First Grade students need two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine, and seventh graders and some juniors in high school need a meningitis vaccine. All that, before the fall semester begins.