Saved on Memorial Day, born on the Fourth of July

Born on the Fourth of July: When baby James came into the world, his parents, Matt and Anna Balthazar from Austin couldn't help but think back to the last holiday a month prior...Memorial Day weekend...when they had to fight for their lives.   

The Balthazars were staying at Matt's parents' retirement home on the Blanco River in Wimberley when the rain started to fall.

"It's impossible for the river to touch our house.  I thought back to the Halloween floods 2 years ago.  And I think the river got up to 33 feet and it was still a good 20 yards from hitting our house," Matt said.

In the middle of the night, Anna woke up to a chilling sound.

"No it really sounds like water, it sounds like waves.  And he got up and looked out the window and I'll never forget, he turned around and looked at me and said 'Go get in the car right now,'" Anna said.

Water poured into the house as Anna dialed 911.

"They told us to get on the roof and that it would be 2 to 3 hours before anybody could come help us.  And I did not want to get on the roof.  That sounded terrifying," she said.

So they tried to drive away but quickly found out flooded low water crossings were trapping them in the neighborhood.  After helping some of their neighbors escape their cars caught in floodwater, they made the decision to leave the area on foot -- barefoot actually.

"The river is not going to be what kills us tonight.  We're not going to drown.  So we're going to get as far away from the river as possible," Matt said.

With 3 of their neighbors, Matt and Anna say they walked through the woods in the rain and the dark, carrying their dog, using utility poles as their guide.

And Anna needed to stay calm so she wouldn't go into labor.

"It was hard, it...hurt our feet," she said.

The horrific noise of the raging river followed them.

"It was unimaginably loud.  With the cracking of all the trees and the utility poles and just the sound of the water, we knew it was coming closer and closer," Anna said.

"It's a creepy sound that I will never forget of just trees being ripped out of the ground," Matt said.

The Balthazars made a map showing their journey.  Several hours and several miles later they knocked on the door of the first house they saw.

"We show up at their doorstep at 4 in the morning, soaking wet, covered in mud.  And tried quickly to explain what had happened and ask if we could come in and they said 'absolutely.'  They gave us dry clothes, water, showers," Matt said.

A month later, Anna finally did go into labor.

"It's been a wild ride so far!  But we're glad to have him, we're glad he's here...and glad he wasn't born on Memorial Day," Anna said.

When the Balthazars returned to Wimberley the next day, they found their family home with 7 feet of water damage.  They're working on repairing it.

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