LE SUEUR, Minn. (WCCO) — Flood waters are beginning to recede in some parts of Minnesota, but the damage will be around for some time. That’s especially true for a Le Sueur family. The Carlsons had to run to escape a mudslide in their home.
“You look here and it’s pretty much gone,” said Randy Carlson. “If you look at the rest of the house there’s not a scratch.”
The Carlsons are in awe of how much mud ended up in their dining room. It’s mud that, for now, can’t be moved.
“Anything that jars it a little bit, that would be enough for those rafters to break and everything to go down,” Randy Carlson said.
Terry and her daughter, Tanya, were home when the mud cascaded down the hill, and into the home.
“We both heard it at the same time, it was a crack of a tree,” Terry Carlson said. “Then you feel the movement, and you think ‘What do you do?’ and the next thing you smell propane.”
They escaped, then called Randy.
“I said, ‘We’re alive, the house is gone. Call 911 because the propane tank is leaking,'” Terry Carlson said.
They thought the house was going to explode.
Once the dust settled and they were able to get back in and see the damage, the Carlsons assumed insurance would cover the cost to repair their dream home, but they were mistaken.
“One of the exclusions is going to say it does not cover soil movement, which consists of mudslides, landslides earthquakes and nuclear war,” Randy Carlson said.
The mudslide caused trees to full in an area where there was once grass in the backyard. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for the Carlsons to make repairs on their own. They’d first have to shore up the hillside to ensure there’s not another mudslide. The estimate for just the hill is $250,000.
“It’s not feasible for us,” Terry Carlson said. “He just retired, and it’s just not feasible for us. We need help, we need help, it’s day six.”
The Carlsons are well known in town. Randy Carlson taught in Belle Plaine for nearly 30 years, and he coaches girls high school basketball. They said they’ve had a lot of support.
The Carlsons see few options: sell the house, wait it out and possibly foreclose down the road, or hope someone steps in to help.
FEMA does handle flood insurance. A FEMA representative said a mud flow is sometimes covered by flood insurance, but a mudslide is not. Roughly 12,000 homes in the state have flood insurance.
If you would like to help the Carlsons, a fund has been set up with State Bank of Belle Plaine.
You can donate to the fund online (http://www.gofundme.com/alh9t0) or by mailing a letter to this address:
Carlson Relief Fund, State Bank of Belle Plaine, 201 W. Main St, PO Box 87, Belle Plaine, MN 56011, 952-873-2296