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Friends of an pregnant Ohio mom, who lost her life along with her youngest two children after their trailer was swept away by flash flooding, on Monday expressed shock at the tragic loss — as an alarming 911 call made from inside the mobile home was released.
Victoria Kennard, who was several months pregnant, and two of her four children, Gabriel Barrios, 7, and Rose Barrios, 5, died in the floodwaters when their home was swept into the Red Oak Creek in Ripley, Ohio, late Saturday.
The father of the children, Marco Barrios, and the family’s two other kids were also swept into the creek but were rescued and survived the incident.
Shelley Sroufe, a neighbor of the Kennard family, said she’s never seen anything like it in her 36 years of living in the town of Ripley.
"Their entire trailer was swept into the creek," she said. "It truly was a flash flood, within minutes it was raining so hard."
Sroufe said she taught Victoria Kennard eight grade math many years ago and lived near the family. She was outside with Kennard’s sister as search and rescue teams looked for the family.
A recording of the 911 call from inside the trailer home, released Monday, reveals the family’s frantic pleas for help.
“We're, we're, we're stuck,” Kennard says in the call to the Brown County dispatcher. “The flood is up, around our house!”
She later says, "All of us in the house still but the water is coming up and stuff, it's very fast."
Georgetown County Administrator Art Owens said the family was in the mobile home sleeping when they felt their home start to move.
“They were huddled in their bathroom when the water took its course and were swept away,” Owens said.
Storms and heavy rain caused the town of Ripley to get four inches of rain in less than one hour after a week of heavy rain.
“The ground couldn’t take it anymore,” he said.
According to Senior Media Relations Associate Jim Feuer with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, two of Kennard’s children who survived the flooding were treated and released on Sunday.
Two of her other children who passed away in the floods were found in separate locations near Sroufe’s home.
No update on Marco Barrios’ condition was immediately available on Monday.
Kennard worked as a nursing assistant at the Johnson Mathers nursing home in nearby Carlisle, Kentucky, where her coworkers mourned the loss on Monday.
Doris Ecton, an administrator there, said Kennard was “very quiet and very caring.”
"We are heartbroken," Ecton said. "Our heart goes out to her family for their loss."