Lincoln County man risks life to save pet raccoon from flooding

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LINCOLN COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – Johnny Ray of Lincoln County is lucky to be alive Tuesday night after being swept away by the high water of the Cuivre River near Old Monroe Tuesday.

Old Monroe Fire Protection District received the call of a man in the water just before 1 pm.  When they arrived, the boats quickly hit the water and the search was on.  It only took them a few minutes to locate Ray.

Ray lives in a home that sits on the banks of the river, but now sits some 100 yards or more inside the flood water.  He was trying to swim out to check on the home and rescue his pet raccoon Sly when he was surprised by the strong current which carried him downstream.

“I didn’t know it was that deep,” said Ray looking out over the water.  “I was trying to swim to my house to see what the water looked like in there.  I got about to the tree line and it swept me down, almost all the way to the big river.  If I had made it to the bigger river I’d have been gone probably,” said Ray.

He did manage to make it back to shore just as rescue crews arrived.  They loaded him into their boat and took him out to house where he collected some belongs and rescued his pet raccoon.  Both appeared to be in good health when they returned to shore.

In other river news, the Burlington Northern Santa Fee lines are open again after having been washed out by the flood waters over the weekend.  BNSF crews were on the scene early this morning pouring rock into the gaping hole under the tracks.  The hole is now filled, the tracks are secured and at 3 pm, the lines reopened to traffic.