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As San Marcos Flooded, Two Men Risked Their Lives to Save a Stranded Family

Mose Buchele/KUT News
Chris Gutierrez (left) and Daniel Navarro found a woman and her three children stuck in their car in the San Marcos floodwaters.

It’s been about a week since devastating floods swept through Texas, bringing destruction and even death.

The floods also set the scene for acts of heroism.

As the waters have receded, some of those stories have surfaced. One of them took place early Sunday morning on Memorial Day weekend on River Road in San Marcos.

Daniel Navarro and his stepfather Chris Gutierrez were searching for a family member and came across a woman and her three children stranded in their car in the floodwaters. Navarro and Gutierrez tell us what happened next.

Shell Peralez and her daughter were stranded in their car in the middle of floodwaters on River Road. Gutierrez, an ironworker, tied a sturdy knot around Navarro, who then went into the water to save them. 

Navarro grabbed Peralez's daughter, Lakota, but couldn't go back for Peralez or her sons, Joe and Joshua, because of surging floodwaters.

Credit Mose Buchele/KUT News
Lakota (left) and her mom Shell Peralez were stuck in the family car in San Marcos flood waters.

Peralez and her sons were later rescued, but she says, if it hadn't been for Gutierrez and Navarro, she doesn't think her family would have made it out of the flood.

Mose Buchele focuses on energy and environmental reporting at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mosebuchele.
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