Flooding victims remembered in Palestine

A community is coming together to heal and clean up after flash floods killed six people in the East Texas town of Palestine.

Lillie Stephens may have lost most of her of valuables in Saturday morning's flash flood but is grateful to be alive to talk about it.

Stephens saw two flashlights shining in the distance. It was two Palestine firefighters.

“I want to say hats off to the Palestine fire department,” Stephens said. “They saved me.”

But sadly, there was no saving her neighbor, 60-year-old Lenda Asberry, and her four great-grandkids.

Linda Buckley says she saw Asberry, who friends called Peaches, struggling to get her great-grandkids to safety.

“I was looking over and her car was submerged in the water. The lights were on,” said Buckley. “She did not die in that house. She was trying to get over here. She got to the mailbox. Two of the babies were screaming and hollering.”

Buckley says the other two kids were in the car. She never saw them again.

Semetra Hansborough stopped by the family's home to add a candle to the growing memorial outside the front door.

“It's in remembrance of the kids,” said Hansborough. “I feel it needs to be on point."

A couple of miles away at Cavender's Boot City, employees are remembering the sixth victim, Giovanni Oliva.

“You're all family in a small town,” said Tina Morton. “You're just supposed to love your neighbor.”

The father of two young kids was swept away by the flood waters on a county road a few miles from Timber Drive. He used to buy his boots at Cavender's, so the staff thought auctioning off his favorite brand of boots was a nice way to raise money for his family.

“Sometimes, you have to do for others because you could be in that situation and would want someone to do that for you,” said Yicel Aleman.

Oliva's son turns one this Wednesday. Instead of planning his birthday, the family is forced to plan for Oliva's funeral.

The Cavender's raffle runs through Friday. Proceeds with go directly to the Olivia family.

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