Apparently, the creek turned into a river rushing across the yard towards the little house. Water surrounded them and they were cut off. Gail’s brother-in-law, Norman Harlan, arrived in a boat to rescue the family. When they opened the door, toddler Cindy stepped out. Fortunately, Norman grabbed her as she came through the door.
She would have been swept away in the floodwaters. The whole family was rescued.
Cj Garriott, Gail’s younger sister, tells about the flood in the Madison area, “Some memories I have of the ’51 flood–Perched as our house was on the little hill, we were high and dry as our home and barns were spared. We lost some cows–we tried to get them to the homeplace, and some did get there, but we watched as others were swept downstream.
Even though the railroad tracks were covered with water, a couple of neighbor men were able to walk it to town for supplies.
I remember squatting at the edge of the water, as it inched up our hill, watching grasshoppers getting pushed off grass stalks by the rising water. I wished I could save them.”
I asked Carol about the history of the houses, and she said, “Daddy bought the 40 acres with a house that needed to be torn down. Then Daddy and Norman built the new one, I believe. I think Melba and Norman lived in it first, while they built a new house on their farm. The little house across the creek that was flooded was rented by Gail and Clyde.”