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Club hears stories about ’78 flood

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  • Former Miss USA Kim Tomes spoke to the Faith and Freedom Club in Medina. As she related her story of surviving the Flood of 1978, she shows a picture of the infamous tree that saved her life. BULLETIN PHOTO/Tracy Thayer
    Former Miss USA Kim Tomes spoke to the Faith and Freedom Club in Medina. As she related her story of surviving the Flood of 1978, she shows a picture of the infamous tree that saved her life. BULLETIN PHOTO/Tracy Thayer

The Faith and Freedom Club of Medina met on August 9 and heard from speakers who had survived the devastating flood of 1978 in Bandera County.

First up was Cody Doyle, who read an account of the flood from his mother, who was working as a dispatcher for the Bandera County Sheriff’s Department at the time.

Next, Former Miss Texas and Miss USA (1977) Kim Tomes Dietz related her experiences surviving the flood.

While Tomes related her story with humor, she also was able to give an eyewitness account of the terrible power of the flood waters. She and her family were vacationing at a dude ranch near Peaceful Valley Road when she realized in the night that water had risen into the cabin in which they were staying.

Tomes got her family out of the cabin. She and her mother were able to climb trees to stay above the flood water.

She spent nine hours in the tree before she was rescued. Tomes is writing a book about her experiences during the flood and described the flood as a “huge moment in my life.”

The last speaker at the event was longtime Medina resident and wood worker Fred Collins.

Collins has made a study of the impact of the flood on the area and talked about his experiences as an employee of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) after the event.

He also spoke about collecting flood wood from local landowners to use in his woodworking business.