Coffeyville Flood Victims Return Home

Wednesday, July 11th 2007, 9:40 am
By: News On 6

The flood victims of Coffeyville, Kansas, start to go back home to see what's left. The News On 6’s Emory Bryan reports the city reopened the neighborhood that was hardest hit by the flood, allowing the homeowners to go in at their own risk.

Virginia Burns can hardly believe what's happened to her house and most everything she had. Even though her home is high above the street, it still flooded.

“I was hoping it didn't get into my house because it does sit so high, but it did,” said Burns.

The floors have buckled inside and the carpet is spouting mushroom sized clumps of mold. The basement is still full of contaminated water. Her children came in to help her sort through what's left.

After 17 years in the house, there were a lot of memories tucked away.

"There are some things up higher I can clean, but other than that, nothing below about two feet,” Burns said. “It's all gone."

The backyard of her house is filled with trash from elsewhere in the neighborhood, including a propane tank and a big piece of driftwood.

Many of the people in the neighborhood thought they were on high ground, but when the levee that protects them was topped, there was no stopping the current.

Down the street from Burns, the Springer family saved a few things, like a coin collection that was above the waterline.

“Mainly things from upstairs, nothing from downstairs, the water got it,” said Jerry Springer.

Their house is no better, with heavy damage they don't believe can be repaired. There are hundreds of homes in the same or worse condition, but few of them any better.

Most every home that was touched by the flood water has one of the red signs warning it should be considered uninhabitable.

Latecia Springer is just glad it wasn't worse.

"I'm not worried about nothing but my kids’ lives and my life, because we could have been sleeping through all that, I just thank God for what I got,” she said.

The city of Coffeyville has set up a special web site with flood related information.

For more flooding information, check out our STORM ZONE web page.

Watch the video: Coffeyville Reopens Neighborhood Hit Hardest By Flood