Community helps Rupert family pick up pieces after flooding

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RUPERT, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) For Wayne Schwendiman it all happened so fast. As he slept at his mother's house in February flood water began to fill the basement.

When a neighbor woke him at 4:00 A.M. his first thought was to get his mother, Betty, out of the house.

"Really I didn't have much time to think about the water coming in," Schwendiman said.

Once Schwendiman ensured the safety of his mother and her dog, he went back for her clothes, medicine and anything else she may need.

Once he did turn his attention to the house, water was quickly filling the basement and, despite efforts to keep water out, eventually would reach the main floor.

"I don't know if we're going to be able to rebuild it yet for sure," Schwendiman said. "It may be better just to tear it all down and start over."

Schwendiman said the damages to his 86 year old mother's house aren't covered by insurance. He needs to clear out the mud and debris from the house before he can get professionals in to see exactly what can be salvaged and what should be done.

That's where his neighbors and friends stepped in. On Saturday dozens of people flocked to the house to remove the mud and tear out damaged areas bucket by bucket.

"It's been unbelievable how many people have helped out and helped us and helped Betty," said Ranae Halverson, the Schwendiman's neighbor for more than 30 years.

That was something Wayne Schwendiman appreciated.

"The water was just too much to keep up with and I'm grateful for all the help I have right now to help clear out the mess and dry it out still," he said.

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