“It happened so fast…” Roane County homeowner surveying home after flood, landslide damage

Local News

Homeowners across East Tennessee impacted by flood damage after days of excess rain throughout the region, started the week looking at how they’ll rebuild. 

“The mud is still coming down. If it keeps raining,  it’s going to continue flowing,” said Peter Klingsheim, a homeowner in Harriman. (Some rain is expected Thursday.)

Klingsheim is facing severe flood damage, according to the Roane County Office of Emergency Services of the 50 private residences damaged in some way by flooding, Klingsheim’s home was the most severe. 

He takes that fact with a smile, because of what could have happened. 

“The fact that we’re alive is amazing. God wants us to be alive for some reason,” said Klingsheim. 

Sitting in his living room Saturday morning, Klingsheim said he heard rumbling and his house started to shake. He believed there was an earthquake, until he looked outside and saw debris flying by the window. 

This was something else. Within seconds, water was pouring into his living room through, bursting through a wall. 

“I’m on my hands and knees under the water just feeling for a body,” said Klingsheim. 

His daughter, only 6 years old, thrown across the room by the water — which Klingsheim said was rising to around 3 feet. 

His wife, in the kitchen separated from the living room, took their two sons, 4 and 5 years old, to safety. He followed closely behind after finding their daughter with her leg stuck under the staircase. 

A miracle, he credits, to their faith. 

“For whatever reason our family members were in the exact places they needed to be so they were still alive,” said Klingsheim. 

A few days after the landslide brought water and debris into their famliy home, Klingsheim is working with his insurance company and the county’s emergency services. He says the damage likely won’t be covered by insurance because he does not have specific flood or landslide insurance, but he’s still feeling hopeful. 

Klingsheim said, “The fact that my wife still has a husband, and we have all three children, that is the biggest thing for us.” 

Family friends setup a GoFundMe for the Klingsheim’s to rebuild. 

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