Father of 7-month-old baby rescued in Lynchburg flood waters speaks out one week later

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)-- It has been one week since flood waters rushed through Lynchburg, prompting evacuations and destroying homes.

We saw many images from that night, but one sticks out. The City of Lynchburg captured video of a 7-month-old baby and a 2-year-old boy being rescued from their apartment on Greenwood Drive by boat.

The video showed raging water, dramatic rescues, and the baby being cradled by a police officer.

One week later Jose Benitez sits outside a roped off Sandusky Square Apartments watching the video.

"That's my baby," said Benitez.

When the water reached the ceiling in some Sandusky Square Apartments, Benitez was helping his neighbors outside. He went back to get his baby, Esther, and the rest of his family, but the waters were too high.

"He said no, no more, no come back," said Benitez.

Lynchburg Officer Collin Byrne responded to the flood.

"There's a lot of things going through their mind and a lot of anxiety," said Byrne.

He was allowed where Benitez wasn't. You can see him hold Benitez's son, Jonathan, in the video.

"He was crying. He was upset. I distracted him fairly quickly when I went to you-tube and turned on Tom and Jerry," said Byrne.

And amidst craziness, the firefighters and police officers found some relief in baby Esther.

"The baby was precious. Just lying there as silent as can be," said Byrne.

The first responders brought the kids back to their dad, everyone was safe.

The flood left its mark on the Benitez family. Both physically, their belongings are destroyed, and emotionally.

As the kids look back on the video from that night, the officer just hopes they take away one thing.

"That there's a lot of people out there that are willing to help them at any point," said Byrne.

The city estimates structural damage to private property like homes and apartments to be over $700,000. The City of Lynchburg Disaster Recovery Group will be assisting residents moving forward.