Social media credited for helping save a woman, with Dunedin connections, from Texas flood waters

Posted at 3:42 PM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 15:43:25-04

A woman, who used to serve as a youth pastor in Dunedin, was rescued from flood waters in Texas thanks to social media.

Stephanie Caro said rescuers found her and her family because of social media and a connection she made with a church member in Dunedin many years ago.

Caro said her Texas home has been in the family 40 years and it never flooded until Sunday around 9 p.m.

"All of a sudden the water started coming through the walls and started rising really fast," she said.

She said she called for help a few times. Then an out of state friend contacted her.

"A girlfriend of mine in Denver texted and I'll be honest it was like a lifeline in the rising waters, literally, because I was sacred. It was dark and the water [was] rising. You [couldn't] see anything," Caro said.

Caro said her husband, sister, and a few pets were inside the home stranded. Caro sent her friend in Denver a video showing how high the water was inside the home. Her friend shared it on social media. Other people started sharing it too, hoping they could get rescuers to the home.

Beth Wylde, who now lives in Boston, saw Caro's posts on social media. She noticed Caro started posting more often, keeping people informed about her situation. Wylde decided to post something on social media too to help Caro.

Wylde said she met Caro in Dunedin because Caro was her youth pastor. Caro served as the youth pastor at First United Methodist Church of Dunedin for 6 years and that was 14 years ago.

"I never thought that I would have any sort of power in social media," Wylde said.

Wylde said she started contacting as many people she knew, including her sister, who also lives in Massachusetts.

"....(and) within 2 hours that we had all the connections made and all the people heading over there," Wylde said.

Caro said by 9:30 a.m. Monday her and her family were rescued.

"Being a youth pastor all my life you never expect to see...the fruits of all those years of youth ministry, but this was a thank you I never expected," Caro said.

Caro believes thanks to Wylde, rescuers found her family.

"This was just one of my old youth group kids and now who is just this amazing grown up woman, who is making a difference and then the power of good that social media can have," Caro said.

Caro said she is thankful for everyone, who helped her, because there were so many people. She truly believes the bond she made with Wylde, many years ago, saved her family from flood waters.

Caro said the internet and social media were a blessing.

"Even if you think you can't help, there are things you can do. Prayers (are) amazing. I think it's the only way we stood being in the dark, when waters were coming up," Caro said.

Caro said the water near her home has receded. She will start cleaning up Wednesday. She said another child, she met through youth group in Dunedin, is helping her. She said that child is now an architect, who has a friend in Texas, and that person will be making sure Caro's home is safe.