Family rescued from rising water gets desperately needed help

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A family who was pushed out of Louisiana by floods is experiencing a life-changing weekend.

Loretta and Brandon – who do not want to share their last name – were living in a tent under a bridge in Garland with their special needs adult son.

Friday, Brandon had gone to his first day of work at a new job when rising water in a nearby creek nearly swept Loretta and her son away. They were able to get to safety higher up under the bridge until they could be rescued, but their tent and remaining belongings were washed away.

“When the water rose up to the rock, the water went underneath the tent,” said Loretta.

Aimee Winterbauer and Luke Eller saw the story on Fox 4 and decided to help.

“It really touched my heart, especially after I found out they had a special needs son because I have a special needs brother,” said Winterbauer.

The couple showed up Sunday with a suitcase full of clothes and new work boots for Loretta and Brandon for their new jobs.

Others have stepped up to help too and Winterbauer and Eller have been taking donations through their church – the Matthew 25:40 Project.

“We've gotten quite a bit in donations that's allowed us to put them in a motel for at least a week, and has given us some money to help them with an initial deposit on a place to live, first month's rent, that kind of thing. Now we need to find them a place that will rent to them,” said Mike Bencheck.

The family is now tackling the biggest challenge of trying to find a more permanent place to live with their son and the family dog.

They say they have a positive outlook, especially after the help they’ve received so far.

“When we were struggling, like I told you, people look at you the wrong way. It made me feel like nobody cared, but it's changed my attitude. But I do appreciate everybody out here,” said Loretta.