Home washed away, veteran says broken dam is culprit

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

WINNSBORO, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas couple's home literally washed away and they have lost everything. A retired veteran and his wife, who live outside Winnsboro, say the levee on a nearby private lake broke during last week's heavy rains.

Jim Dyson says the current was so swift and powerful, it swept his home away, totaled his truck and ruined furniture.

"The water's coming so fast," said Dyson. "It was just terrible. I mean everything was just floating away."

Not to mention his life was in jeopardy, as he got trapped in the rising waters. That same day, another Wood County woman did lose her life. But, thanks to the quick action of volunteer firefighters, Jim says he was rescued.

"They strung up ropes," said Dyson. "They put life jackets on us."

What caused it, he says, was more than heavy rain. Dyson showed us photos he's taken of a private lake at a nearby tree farm.

"Apparently, their levee was too thin," he said.

He says the owners are refusing assistance, saying their insurance will not cover anything. Jim and his wife are trying to salvage what they can, but mold is a big concern.

"I hope they have some sort of regulations about building another dam because I don't want this happening again," said Dyson, who says he's just grateful to still have his life and that their dog Tootsie survived. What's all they ask for?

"[We ask for] prayers," said Dyson. "That's it. That's all we need is prayers."

And, hopefully someone will take responsibility.

"I hope that they step up and do the right thing," said Dyson.

He says they may have to take legal action against those owners to ensure the levee is rebuilt so this can't happen again.

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