Related topics

Man Recalls Rescue From House Swept Into River

February 9, 1996

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) _ One moment, Harold Jank was trying to get off the couch and comply with an evacuation order. The next, his house was bobbing in the torrential flow of the Sandy River, and his wife, Jacqueline, was gone.

A tugboat rescued Harold Jank, 70, from atop his house after a mudslide swept it into the river Wednesday. Jacqueline Jank, 62, remained missing Thursday.

A police officer had advised the couple to evacuate, and Jank was trying to lift himself from the couch to his walker and his wife was heading to the car when the mudslide hit.

``We heard a noise, and she said, `Uh oh, here it comes,‴ Jank told The Oregonian.

Jank said the house slammed into several bridges as it traveled three miles downstream, into the Columbia River, where a tugboat crew spotted him on the house, waving a pillow.

``I don’t know what I would have done if that tugboat hadn’t seen me,″ said Jank, who suffered only a laceration to his leg.

Update hourly