South Carolina woman, grandson cling to cross for 5 hours in raging flood waters

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BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. -- A South Carolina woman and her grandson held on to a large cross for five hours on Sunday before rescuers were able to pull them from the floodwaters.

Clara Gantt told WIS that she was headed from Blythewood to her church in Irmo around 6 a.m. when she drove into a sheet of water that was covering the road.

"I knew there was water out there, but I didn't know that it was going to stall me and it did," Gantt told WIS.

Gantt's car was swept from the road and into a field next to the church. She told WIS that she tried to call 911, but no one answered.

She was eventually able to get in touch with her family.

When her grandson, Travis Catchings, arrived with a rope to pull her to safety he was able to force the car door open to reach Gantt.

"I don't see how I did it. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," Catchings told WIS.

The two waited and held onto a red cross.

"Where my car stopped was right behind a huge red cross. I was literally, after I got out of the car, holding on the cross. I was clinging to the cross literally," Gantt told the station.

They waited for more than four hours, hoping rescue crews would reach them in time.

Catchings told WIS that he made a phone call to his wife because he wasn't sure they were going to make it.

"I really thought that was the last time that I was ever going to talk to her. I thought that was the last time that I'd ever going to hear her voice," Catchings told the station. He said it was the hardest phone call he's ever made.

Rescuers eventually arrived and saved the pair.

Gantt said she saw the location of the church and the cross as a sign.

"Jesus is my savior," Gantt told WIS. "This story is not about me, it's about what he did to save me. And he set my feet on higher ground."

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