Man claims house destroyed after boat waves damaged levee

(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Many across the Heartland are dealing with massive cleanup efforts after the recent flooding over the last couple weeks. But one resident said his home was flooded from waves caused by a boater.

Larry Obermann lives on Highway 74 in the southern part of Cape Girardeau County. He said boaters are frequent in that area because people have been using them to get to their homes, while others were using them to sightsee the floodwaters.

Obermann said that a boat traveling too fast caused some waves to crash into the levee he built around his home. Obermann said he saw it happen and his rock levee failed before his eyes.

"I was out there carrying clothes out and that's when he come ripping down the highway," Obermann said. "I seen the levee go on the corner of the house from the waves. If he had been idling, it wouldn't of bothered it."

Before the home was protected by his three foot high levee Obermann said. But after it broke, floodwaters rushed in and filled up the basement and became two feet deep inside on the main floor. Obermann said it ruined many items and the home is a total loss now.

"Frustrating," he said. "From one to ten, it's a 15. Because the guy was just boat riding and he couldn't get past my vehicle that was on the road, up the road 200 yards. And he was just boat riding."

Obermann tried to save what he could as floodwaters rushed in but there wasn't much he could do.

"It come in before I could even get it up," Obermann said.

On Saturday, Obermann and his daughter salvaged what they could from the home.

"All my appliances, my deep freeze, my ice box and my electric stove," he said. "My washer, my dryer, that's stuff I just bought this past summer," Obermann said. "It's all new stuff. That's a couple grand."

Trash bins inside were full of clothing and other items ruined by the floodwaters. Freezers knocked over and personal items were still wet as Obermann continues to pump water out of his basement.

He said he is frustrated this happened and hopes boaters would stay out of flooded areas near homes unless they need to be there.

Obermann said the amount it would cost to fix the damages and remodel the home would cost more than to rebuild it completely.

He plans to tear down the home in the near future due to the damages.

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