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Flooded Pierre Couple Settles Into New Home

January 10, 2013, 5:35 AM by Austin Hoffman

Flooded Pierre Couple Settles Into New Home
PIERRE, SD -

The summer of 2011 is one people living along the Missouri River will never forget as record flooding tore through towns along the Missouri River with unbelievable power.

But for some, the battle is far from being over. Art and Wynn Bergeson had lived in Fr. Pierre along the river for 20 peaceful years. But, it only took three days to wash it all away.

"The water got higher and higher and higher," Art said.

"It raised about 25 feet in three days," Wynn said.

The six-foot high sandbag wall they had was no match for the rising Missouri River. When the water retreated back, their home went along with it.

"All we had was a shell.  The studs, the inside of the house, you could stand at one end and see the studs all the way through and that's all it was. So we just had to bear down, I guess you'd say, and get to work," Wynn said.

Wynn says they tried to get flood insurance just two years earlier but were told the Oahe Dam was their insurance. They didn't get any money from the state but did get $30,000 from FEMA for their loss.

"That wouldn't even clean out the mess much less start to fix it," Wynn said.

They rebuilt over the past year-and-a-half. In fact, they recently moved back into their home, just in time for Christmas.

"Yeah it's good to be back here," Wynn said.

They both say it will never be back to what it was before the flood but are glad to know the worst is behind them.

"I never thought we'd be homeless at this age, though, but it happened," Wynn said.

"But I don't think we'll have to do it again," Art said.

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