Waterville residents deal with aftermath of flooding

Waterville residents deal with aftermath of flooding Photo: KSTP

Updated: July 23, 2019 05:43 AM

The flood damage caused over the weekend in the Waterville area is still visible and, for many who live near Tetonka and Sakatah lakes, extensive.

Maria Storing has lived in Waterville for over 30 years, and said the flooding is a flashback from five years ago.


"June 21st, 2014, it's exactly the same thing, only there was the water all along here also," said Storing.

By just looking at it, It's hard to tell that part of what now looks like an extension of the nearby lakes and rivers used to be her gravel driveway.

"Well, they actually rode a canoe the other day through our yard," said Storing.

The water just kept rising.

Gene Pruess left his cellphone in the house while he was on the dock, when suddenly a heavy gust blew over his boat lift, trapping him in the water.

"And then the wind came up and those ropes finally snapped on the bottom," said Pruess. "At first I couldn't even get out because the canopy. I couldn't even stand up."

He said he's lived in Waterville his whole life and he's never seen anything this bad.

"The dock is completely underwater, and then this tipped over with my boat in it," Pruess said.

The storm rolled in Sunday, much quicker than he anticipated. And the wind was relentless, knocking over the canopy on this dock, which pulled Pruess underneath. Fortunately, he managed to get out and was able to swim back to shore.

"I had to swim to shore. I got to this rock and that's when I was able to crawl out," said Pruess. "I feel lucky, that was quite a thing."

For Storing, she luckily doesn't have any damage to her home, but the flooding was more dramatic than expected.

"There's nothing you can do. You just live with it, I guess," said Storing.

The city said water levels rose about three-quarters of an inch overnight into Monday morning, and it could take some time for the levels to recede. It also said if there's a need for sandbagging, the city will provide empty bags and sand for residents at the City Shop.

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Crystal Bui

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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