Teen talks about terrifying night stuck in the storm drain

Teen shares how he survived flood waters
(Source: Samantha Hunter)
(Source: Samantha Hunter)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Strong storms rolled through Region 8 Tuesday evening, leaving many with flooded homes and businesses.

For one teenager though it was a night of terror when he was swept away by the flood waters.

"When I did scream for people no one could hear me until the rain calmed down and a guy put his ear to the ground," he said.

Jacob Hunter and a friend were playing in the roads as the heavy rain came down, but things took a turn for the worst when he accepted a dare to play near the storm drain.

"It was a dare gone wrong," Jacob said.

The night then quickly turned into a nightmare for Jacob's family.

"The police told me to go home and I didn't want to leave and all I could think of was I needed my baby back," Jacob's mother Lorrie Hunter said.

Lorrie said Jacob was supposed to be playing video games at a friend's house.

However, when she heard Jacob went missing she searched for her son the best she could, but after a while, it was time to turn it over to the rescue teams and turn to prayer.

"I couldn't hear a thing because of the rushing water and turns out I was only 10 feet from him," Lorrie said.

Family, friends and church members gathered at the Hunters's home while they waited to hear the fate of Jacob.

"What was going through my mind was how to comfort a family that was about to get bad news," Pastor of Cathedral Baptist Doug Welborn said.

While his family prayed above ground, Jacob was holding on for his life in the tunnels below the town.

"I kept thinking I don't want to die and someone needs to find me soon because after a while I was starting to give up," Jacob said.

Jacob held onto a loose rock in the storm drain with rushing water.

He told Region 8 News he used his pocket knife to grab the loose rock and then held on like a handle.

Lorrie said the night felt like an eternity without her son.

"I just wanted my son back and it was just agonizing," she said.

However, she knew God was watching over him.

"I knew the longer he was there in the water the lesser a chance he had but I never gave up hope because I knew the Lord was taking care of him and whatever happened I knew the Lord had planned and I was okay with that," Lorrie said.

After almost three hours, rescue teams finally heard Jacob screaming.

"I was just screaming and praying, screaming and praying," Jacob said.

Jacob said he is so thankful for those that helped save his life.

"When I came up I just felt relief," Jacobs said. "I wasn't really thinking about what was going next just relief and I was praying to God thanking him."

Jacob's family was very thankful as well.

"I jumped up about 10 feet in the air and hollered 'he's alive,'" Jacob's father Brian Hunter said. "Like I said, JPD you all did awesome. You talk about some officers. They were smiling here too. They were praising along with us. They couldn't believe it either. It is a miracle from God. Can't ask for nothing better than that."

Jacob said he thought about giving up a few times, but God pulled him through.

"He said all at once the water slacked and the rain let up and it wasn't rushing as bad and he said he got another good grip and he said 'okay Lord we are going to keep fighting,'" Lorrie said.

Jacob said he is thankful he was not injured more than a couple of scrapes and bruises.

"I should have been cut up a lot worse but God protected me," Jacob said.

Jacob went to a hospital Tuesday night for a checkup.

"I saw them take him in there I headed straight back," Lorrie said. "I was not going to stop I had to see my son."

The family then went to Memphis Wednesday to make sure Jacob did not get a bacterial infection from the water.

Less than 24 hours later, Jacob was back at church playing with his friends and back with his family.

"I just prayed and said, 'Lord, I am not ready to bury a son,'" Lorrie said.

Jacob's has one message for everyone after this terrifying incident.

"One thing, don't take a bet like this and second thing, if you do find yourself in this situation just pray," Jacob said.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android