ORANGE COUNTY - An Orange County couple is spending their 33rd wedding anniversary away from their home after it was destroyed by the flood waters from Harvey.
Dianne and Ernie Rutledge are relying on each other to make it through this difficult time.
The couple smiles as they think about the day the tied the knot, they described it as one of the happiest days in their lives.
“It was a really happy day, I laughed so hard my ribbs hurt during the entire ceremony, the minute we locked eyes we started to giggle,” said Ernie Rutledge. “We were just little kids and we have never looked back.”
The pair usually celebrates by spending a quiet evening in at home eating Dianne’s favorite Italian food.
However, this year was different after rain from Harvey flooded their home off Highway 12 near FM 1132 in Orange County.
"He said honey it’s time to go to bed and I went to climb in the bed and he said no honey the bed is not going to be here we are going to sleep in the truck and that’s when I knew it was bad," said Dianne Rutledge.
The couple spent the night in Ernie’s truck frightened as they tried to go to sleep.
When they woke up the next morning the water was coming up to the truck’s door, luckily the couple was able to flag down a boat driving by which rescued them.
"We got out, by the grace of god we got out," said Dianne Rutledge.
Hurricanes have interrupted their anniversary plans in the past. During Ike, their car port crushed the roof of their house but they never had serious flood damage to their home before.
"This is the first time we had this kind of devastation where you are helpless there is nothing to do," said Ernie Rutledge.
The two are staying with one of their friends in Beaumont they don’t have much water pressure in the home but are making the most of it.
"Fish and company both stink after three days but without water who can help but stink but that’s the way it is," said Ernie Rutledge.
The couple is happy they have each other and are using a little humor to heal along the way.
"You have to be able to laugh, you have to be able to take it however it comes," said Ernie Rutledge.
After 33 years you can tell the couple is still very in love by the way they hold hands and how Dianne looks at Ernie.
"We still have each other and we are not going anywhere,” said Dianne Rutledge. “We will make it through honey, we will always do.”
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