Quick Response During Roanoke Daycare Evacuation

Roanoke, VA - The swiftwater rescue team in Roanoke says the response Wednesday during the flooding couldn't have gone any better at Peters Creek Road at Rainbow Christian Learning Center.

Water was coming in the building from the front and back, but they say the staff did a great job getting those kids out of the building, their life jackets on and into the boat.

At the daycare named Rainbow, owner Sheila Anderson was inside with 18 little children. She and two of her employees knew they had to keep everyone calm when the storm started.

"We were reading to them and singing. They didn't have no idea what was going on outside," said Anderson.

Outside, the water was up to the front door. Firefighters with the Roanoke City swiftwater rescue team were there with a boat.

Team leader Lt. Mark Brown looked like the Noah they'd hoped for.

"The daycare personnel had it very organized for us. They had the kids up. The kids were awesome," said Brown.

That boat would make seven trips before all the kids were out.

Sheila's husband John was waiting on dry land to drive them home, but not in their usual bus. It was under water in the parking lot. The usual route also not an option.

"I thought I could get them one way. Then I had to go another route," said John Anderson. "I said thank you Jesus. I felt such a relief when I finally that last child home."

The typically hour long trip took 2.5 hours. An afternoon of rain sure did seem like 40 days and 40 nights.

Sheila's only concern was keeping a promise to families that their children would be safe under this rainbow.

"That's why we picked that name. Because he promised in difficult times he would take care of us," said Sheila Anderson.

In addition to the cleanup, the Andersons met with an insurance adjuster Thursday and have been working with families to find new daycares for the 27 children displaced by this flood.