Toddler Found Clinging to Lifeless Mother in Hurricane Harvey Floodwaters

September 5, 2017
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Toddler Found Clinging to Lifeless Mother in Hurricane Harvey Floodwatersa

Every time I watch the news about the devastation Hurricane Harvey has caused, it brings tears to my eyes, but this story is enough to make you sob.

An 18 month old toddler was found by authorities shivering and clinging to the body of her mother who had drowned while trying to get them to safety.

While there are so many tragic stories coming out of this natural disaster, this might be the most heartbreaking.

The Horror of Harvey

Trying to Get Help

A 41-year-old mother from Beaumont, Texas, was trying to escape the torrential rains and flooding when she and her 18 month old daughter were stranded by rising water.

After she hit high water on the road she was travelling on she pulled in to a parking lot but her vehicle was quickly overcome by water, according to KDFM News.

Beaumont fire-rescue Capt. Brad Penisson said the woman’s vehicle was discovered in the parking lot.

Trying to Get Them to Safety

Penisson stated that a witness saw the woman take her 18-month-old daughter from the vehicle and attempt to walk to safety. Sadly they were swept away by the current of a flooded drainage canal next to the parking lot.

CBS News reports that squalls from Harvey were pounding Beaumont with up to 2 inches of rain an hour at the time of the accident, with 38 mph gusts.

The 18-month-old was spotted hanging on to her mother in the water and a police and fire-rescue team in a boat were able to reach them before they floated under a railroad trestle, where they would have been unreachable.

The Baby Survived

KDFM News reported that the child was rescued and taken to hospital where she appeared to be suffering from hypothermia.

First responders attempted to revive her mother, but were unsuccessful.

Officer Carol Riley, a spokeswoman for the Beaumont Police Department, told PEOPLE that the mother, identified as Colette Sulcer, “absolutely saved the child’s life.”

“They were in the water for quite some time,” Riley says. “When the baby was found the baby was clinging to her. The mother did the best she could to keep her child up over the water.”

“The baby also had a backpack that was helping her float on her back and she was holding on to her mom,” Riley adds.

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