Flood destroys Waterville home

The property of Joe Ludeman at Road I and Highway 2 east of Waterville sits in deep floodwater Aug. 10. (Provided photo/Ashlee Prey)


By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Dale and Ashlee Prey and their son, Travis, were all home at their rental property on Highway 2 and Road I around 5 p.m. Aug. 10 when it started to rain hard. Soon they could see that water was backing up above the property and was going to be headed their way.

They quickly moved their vehicles to higher ground. At that point neighbors Lakin Thomsen, Allison Santeford and Joe Dahlke drove by on their way home. They called out to ask if the family needed any help. When they answered that they did, the three came back with rubber boots and waded through the water to help move as many belongings as possible out of the house.

They also helped to carry the Prey’s dogs out.

“They moved everything they could in the time they had,” Ashlee Prey said. She added that what matters most is they all made it out uninjured and their pets, including their dogs and Travis’ fish were saved.

Prey said it was only about 20 minutes from when they saw the water rising to when the house and property was completely flooded.

Since the flood, the Preys have been busy going through their belongings at the house and salvaging what they can and dumping what they cannot salvage. She said that so far it looks like most of their furniture is not salvageable.

The couple had renters insurance, but the insurance does not cover flooding, so none of their losses will be compensated.

They are living with Ashlee’s parents, Lyle and Sheila Eggers. A meal train was set up for them on Facebook to provide food for them while they are cleaning out the house.

Ashlee Prey wrote in a text message, “Dale, Travis and I would like to thank everyone for the thoughts, prayers, donations and support that has been given to us. We are truly grateful. We want everyone to know that it’s a privilege to live in such a wonderful town.”

The property is owned by Joe Ludeman and Ludeman lost his son’s pickup truck, his travel trailer which he lived in, two shops, two barns, a bunkhouse, a garage, the house and some collector cars.

Ludeman estimates his loss at about $300,000 and his insurance company is also not covering the damage since it was due to flooding.

Ludeman said that since the flood he has had a lot of help with cleanup. People have come to help him move the mud out of the home and a work party was scheduled for Aug. 17.

He said that he has had contractors try to give him an idea of whether or not the home — which he is prioritizing over the other outbuildings — can be salvaged. That hasn’t been determined yet. For sure all of the appliances have been ruined and other damage is extensive.

Ludeman said that in the meantime he is living with his mom in East Wenatchee.

Umpqua Bank is accepting donations for Dale and Ashlee Prey. North Cascades Bank is accepting donations for Joe Ludeman.