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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

First Look at Homes Near Levee Breach

The Army Corps of Engineers said it listened to multiple complaints Monday at the Regency Marriott in Omaha, Neb., but there are many other flood victims who weren't able to make it.

A couple in Percival, Iowa, who lived near the breached levee is one of the victims of the breached levee who couldn't make it to the Marriott.

Phil Peters said the flood literally ruined the family home -- a foundation for a life together with his wife. For the Peters family, their foundation crumbled, sank and was washed away by the flood.

"This is all that's left of our road. (It'd) be kind of hard to get a bus down here now," Peters said, pointing to the destroyed road leading to their house.

When the flood began, Peters and wife Jennifer said they thought they were safe.

"When we bought the house, we were not required to have flood insurance. They said we did not need it cause the levees would protect us," Peters said.

But the levee failed -- the deck was torn from the home, bedrooms sunk feet below the foundation they once sat on and a carpet of mud covered the entire floor of the home.

While others question the Army Corps in Omaha, Peters said he knows his temper may get the best of him.

"My first question would be, 'Why?' I mean everybody knows this could have been averted. They said they were going to release water at several levels from December through March and didn't do it," Peters said.

So the Peters said they try to keep their spirits high by fighting for flood relief, even though they know they can't rebuild their home.

"The foundations are both gone. The best outcome would be to just honor my flood insurance policy and give me enough money to pay off my mortgage, so I can buy another house," Peters said.

The Peters said one really tough part has been keeping their children positive -- especially their 7-year-old son Ethan who doesn't know any other home.

The Peters said they started a "floodraiser" at the church in Percival to help get supplies for everyone who needs to rebuild.

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