‘She was shaking’: San Antonio family rescued from Monday morning flood waters

SAN ANTONIO – The high water is gone, but the memory of being rescued from it is still fresh for one San Antonio family.

The family was one of at least seven reported calls police say they responded to along 151 between Sunday night and Monday morning.

“How dark it is — there’s no way you can see that water. I went from just where it was just water on the road to immediately it was up at the hood, and there’s water splashing, and my car was already going into it,” said Dee Higel.

Higel said she was on the road around 1 in the morning Monday because her baby daughter Riley had a high fever. She was trying to get Riley to the Christus Children’s Emergency Center, up the hill from the frontage road.

“I hear the swooshing, and I look down, and I have my light on my phone, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s water coming in,’” said Higel.

Water came rushing in, up to the seats of the car. Luckily, firefighters rescued Dee, Riley, and Riley’s 6-year-old sister, Nayeli, and carried them away from the flood water.

“(Firefighters) said, ‘I’m sorry it’s cold.’ But I said, ‘It’s not cold. I’m just scared,” said Nayeli.

“She was shaking,” her mother added.

More than 24 hours later, the family is safe, and Riley feels much better. Now, they’re able to laugh about the experience.

“The first thing that came out of (Nayeli’s) mouth was like, ‘I can’t swim, Mom,’” said Higel with a laugh.

Nayeli smiled and added, “I could swim if it’s up to the tires, but if it’s up to the doors, I cannot.”

Laughs aside, there are frustrations. Higel’s Christmas gift, a 2024 Subaru Ascent, is now totaled.

“I’m upset about it because I’m like, ‘Why is it so dark out there?’” she said.


First responders scramble to help people, cars stranded in high water

VIDEO: Cars trapped in flooding on Highway 151 access road

VIDEO: Car trapped in high water at Leon Creek, Highway 90

About the Authors

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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