Story and photo by: Jay Bonafede, American Red Cross
“I really appreciate you guys!”

Devastating flooding in her hometown of Bon Weir, Texas has forced Lisa Lathan to evacuate her home not once, but twice in the past two weeks. The first time, she almost didn’t make it out in time.

“I was lying in bed; my son woke me up and said, ‘you’re going to float away!’ He’s always joking,” Lathan said. “But when I got outside, the water was already up to my knees.”

Lisa’s son used a four-wheeler to help her get out and brought her to stay at her niece’s house. Two days later, continued flooding forced them to evacuate that area as well. Lisa has been staying with her sister. As she begins the long recovery process, Lathan visited a

Lisa Lathan of Bon Weir, Texas, thanks Red Cross volunteer Becky Tiles from Wisconsin for being there to help after the recent flooding in Southeast and Deep East Texas. Lathan came to the Multi-Agency Resource Center in Newton, Texas, to receive resources and support from the Red Cross and other community agencies to help as she begins the long process of recovery.

Multi-Agency Resource Center in Newton, Texas, to receive referrals and resources from the Red Cross and other partner agencies. So many of Lisa’s neighbors have been affected by the spring flooding, volunteer caseworkers were unable to visit everyone before the First Baptist Church needed to set up their facility for a previously scheduled dinner that evening. Instead of expressing frustration that she needed to make an appointment for the next morning, Lisa hugged Red Cross volunteer Becky Tiles and thanked her for being there as she delivered the news.

“It shows me that people in a crisis still have such amazing grace, “ said Tiles, who

traveled from Osh Kosh, Wisconsin to help in the Texas flood response. “They still have the ability to care about us; we’re trying so hard to help them. We’re all right up to our ear lobes. It fills you with good feeling, motivates you to go on.”


“I’ve never been through an experience like this,” Lathan said. “Not a day goes by that I don’t cry, but I thank God that I’m still here.”