By Diana Rodriguez-Beaugrand, Staff Contributor, American Red Cross
“Once it starts coming in I just start throwing things on top of the bed. I was in the closet thinking oh it won’t get this high everything will be okay. Well, it got way over that.”
Tosha Hernandez sits outside the shelter in the city of Bastrop, catching a brief patch of sun on an otherwise cloudy, gloomy day. She and her husband Richard and their three kids have been staying at the shelter since Saturday October 31st.
In her lifetime, 43-year-old Tosha, has survived four floods. Her husband Richard has survived three.
Each time the floods took place in Central Texas. Their home was completely destroyed, and they had to start over again.
When their house in Cedar Creek was pounded by flood waters that rose as high as their kitchen stove and sink last week, they decided this was the last time for them.
“You just take it as it comes and you just live through it,” Richard says. “I mean, the stuff we lost in the house is just material things. All that counts for me is the lives of my family. As long as we got them out, I am happy. The floods are going to come regardless,” he says, pulling Tosha closer to him.
Tosha remembers her first flooding experience in 1981 when she was just nine years old. She grew up with her grandmother and remembers her nana’s heartache after that flood destroyed her mobile home. “The Red Cross was there back then when I was a kid, and they’re here now for me and my family.”
Tosha says during the floods of 2013 she remembers the Red Cross trucks going through their neighborhood near Onion Creek. “The Red Cross was wonderful when they came into the neighborhood, feeding everybody and handing out cleaning supplies. They were there.”
Tosha’s son, Richard junior, was younger then and really didn’t grasp what was going on.
“He’s lost things he cares about in this flood, but he knows he’s blessed to be alive,” she says.
Richard gives his son a bear hug and says “He knows we won’t be living near any more creeks for sure.”