Flooded Family Staying Put

By: Paige Lambrecht
By: Paige Lambrecht

Jim Kondzela, Jr. has an unusual way to judge if the water surrounding his parents' flooded home is receding. He points to his pick-up, which is about half-covered with water.

"The headlights were gone and the Chevy emblem on the front was gone, but now those are coming back, so I think the water's going down.”

The water's also gone down in his parents' basement. It's a few inches now, but it was about two feet. Jim and Darlene Kondzela say they were actually doing a pretty good job of keeping the water at bay until the basement floor cracked, then the sandbags stopped working.

Jim has lived in this house since he was eight. Jim and Darlene have lived here the entire 40 years of their marriage. They say they've never seen anything like this flooding, but the one thing they'll never forget is how their neighbors helped out.

Darlene says it's been super.

"You couldn't ask for better neighbors. Everybody pitched in and worked together, yelling back and forth how things are. It was wonderful.”

But now many of their neighbors have left and despite warnings from the National Guard for the Kondzela's to do the same. They don't have any plans to leave their house.

Jim, Jr. isn't surprised about his parents' decision.

"Figured been living here long enough that if it went, they'd go with it I guess. I don't know."

That could be it or it could be that Jim and Darlene don't just consider this building a house.

As Darlene says, "This is our home. This is the only place we've been together."

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