GIBSON CITY (WCIA) — It’s a day Gibson City won’t be forgetting anytime soon, Aug. 12 is a day that will forever be remembered by the small town in Ford County.
“Feet of water, cars stranded in the middle of the road, people stranded walking it was a horrible day to see those things,” Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley head coach Mike Allen said.
But there he was, in the middle of it all. Allen didn’t hesitate to help first responders rescue people from their homes, taking a boat to walk people out of the flood through knee high water.
“There was three feet, four feet of water in their homes and apartments,” Allen remembered. “Just to help them get out that day.”
Gibson City received more than nine inches of rain in less than 24 hours, in what’s being called a once in a thousand year flood. It also impacted the player’s homes. GCMS sophomore Carson Maxey had five feet of sewage water in his basement.
“It felt like a movie, we didn’t even know what was going on,” Maxey said. “We were spacing out just cleaning out the water that was in our house. I tried to save as much as I could before it got to high.”
But there was still so much that was left behind. Carson’s bedroom was completely destroyed by the water. The Falcons’ cornerback says he’s grateful no one was hurt, and that he was back on the field practicing just a few days later. The team also led a community effort to help clear out damaged items from people’s homes.
“I realized we don’t give teenagers enough credit,” Allen said. “They stepped up and did a phenomenal job in our community.”
While Gibson City still has a long way to go in their relief efforts, the Falcons hope football can be something to strengthen the community this fall.
“When things happen in Gibson City, people bond together,” Allen added. “When someone’s down, someone needs help, people are there no matter what it is.”