Friends of Kerri Polivka say they are not surprised she put a 9-year-old girl into a bathtub that was whisked safely away from a trailer home as it was torn apart in a flash flood.
The body of 13-year-old Kerri was found Monday in the Ohio River, bringing to 21 the number of people known to have died in the flooding. Thirteen people were listed as missing.Kerri, of Wegee, was baby-sitting at the home of Amber Colvin when a storm dumped 5 1/2 inches of rain in about three hours Thursday, sending a wall of water rushing down two small creeks that empty into the river.
Kerri put Amber in the tub and got in with her. The two became separated after Kerri was hit on the head as the trailer collapsed, Amber said Friday.
Amber said she survived by holding onto logs and was rescued 7 1/2 hours later when she reached the bank of the Ohio River. She suffered cuts and scratches.
"She would have thought of Amber first because she was watching her that night," said Angel Halpin, a sixth-grade classmate and one of Kerri's closest friends.
Angel said she believed searchers sifting through debris along the Wegee and Pipe creeks would find Kerri alive. "I kept saying to myself that she had a broken leg or something. . . . "