Homeowners see flood-damage for the first time, say “water came in so fast”

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Chelsea Maury and her boyfriend Charles moved into their new home on Lamont Street the day after Christmas, she said. They’d been saving up for the big move for a few years and were excited to finally settle in. However, two months later, on Friday, they had to evacuate.

“The water came in so fast there was nothing we can do,” said Maury. “We weren’t able to get everything that we wanted to get out because it had happened so quick.”

Maury and Charles live next door to his  family. They were among the dozens of families who left their homes due to the rising floods. City Hall released a statement saying that the Kalamazoo River reached a record 11.69 feet. As a result many homes, especially around the Morrow Dam near Lamont and Carleton streets, were damaged.

“We just got it, brand new homeowners you know,” said Maury with tears in her eyes.  “We’ve been working to get toward stuff like this just trying to better ourselves and get into a good spot and this was our ray of hope and now it's flooded.”

Jeanne Kendall, Charles' mom, said she was afraid to assess the damage and estimate the repair costs. Her washer, dryer, stove, food, clothing, floors, and carpeting were "all gone."

“I just got it all fixed up in September,” Jeanne said. “Now it’s worse than what it was last year.”

Maury said Friday’s flood was the worst she’d ever seen there in years. The water was waist deep on her boyfriend when he was walking outside who is 5'6". They’ve since been staying with her family while Jeanne is staying a mile away.

“They’re staying in hotels until they don’t have any money left,” Maury said about Jeanne and Charles’ family. “At this point we’ve got family members donating money for them to stay in hotels. So they have a place to live and shower and eat.”

They also created a GoFundMe page to help cover some of their expenses and repair costs. So far though, she said the family has been leaning on each other to get through the hard times.

“I think If it weren’t for the family we would all be in pieces,” Maury said.

If you'd like to help Chelsea Maury and Jeanne Kendall, click here to access their GoFundMe page.

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