Mother credits South Pittsburg teacher for saving her, kids from - WSMV Channel 4

Mother credits South Pittsburg teacher for saving her, kids from flood

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As South Pittsburg continues to clean up from the flood, residents are coming forward with their eyewitness accounts.

A mother said she and her two young daughters are alive today thanks to the unsuspecting help of a woman she's known almost her entire life.

Emma Laura Lacy said she's not a hero, but Ashley Todd begs to differ.

Many described Third Street in South Pittsburg as a gushing river Wednesday night.

Ashley was driving her young kids home from bible school, when she approached high water.

"I looked back on the side, and the water was coming up the window, and then I looked down and it was on my feet," she recalled.

Ashley was faced with a choice: let the flood sweep away her car or try to escape.

"I grabbed the little one in the middle and the big one on my back, and I said hold on tight. And when I got out the car it just went woosh," she said.

Flood waters dragged Ashley and her kids more than two blocks down Third Street, smacking into rocks, trees and poles the whole way.

"I really just needed help at that time, and I was just screaming for help. I knew God had a shield over me. I just wanted my kids to live," she said.

Ashley some how managed to grab a hold of a tree to steady her and her and her kids. They were then able to crawl over to the Lacy's doorstep where they knocked for help.

"I had walked to the kitchen, and I just barely heard some knocking. I asked my husband to go to the door, and her two little girls just fell through the doorway," Emma Laura said.

Ashley was cut up so badly, state troopers had to take her to the hospital. Emma Laura and her family tended to her children.

"I cuddled them all up with a big old blanket, wet clothes and all, put them on my couch. Emma turned on cartoons for them, and they laid there and went sound asleep," she said.

Ashley and "Miss Lacy" have a special history. She taught Ashley when she was in fifth grade, and now she teaches Ashley's two young daughters.

"I didn't ever know who lives here. I just hit the tree and just knocked on the door. I said 'oh my this is Miss Lacy's house. We're good!'," Ashley said.

The Lacy's told us the flood damaged almost every room in their house. But luckily they got some surprise help on Friday from crews with Material Spill Remediation. They came all the way from Nashville to help the people of South Pittsburg.

City officials have set up a call center for anyone who wants to help residents or businesses clean up the damage. You can call 423-486-2151 on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and then again on those same hours Monday thru Friday next week.

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