YELLOWSTONE COUNTY — Nearly one month ago, a Park City home was ripped off its foundation by the Yellowstone River, and now a large portion of the home was discovered five miles downstream.
Mike Kinsey, a 73-year-old veteran, took MTN News out on the Yellowstone River Monday on his boat to see exactly where the home he built by hand 40 years ago ended up.
“There was a tree sticking out of the river, and I think it just caught it, and it just started hanging up there and the current pushed it back on those rocks where it’s sitting right now,” Kinsey said from the spot, which was a short boat ride from the launch at Riverside Park in Laurel.
He kept discovering more portions of his home during the boat ride to the site. His bedroom and bathroom had landed on a rock bank.
He says seeing it is crushing.
“It almost panics me a little bit. I’ve got so much of my life sitting right there that I don’t have now and, you know, not only for me but for my boys, for everybody. It’s gone forever,” Kinsey said.
Kinsey thought he had flood insurance but is now being told he isn’t covered. Making matters worse, he says he also hasn’t been contacted by government agencies tasked with providing flood aid. Although the water has receded, he is unsure of where he will go next.
“I may have to declare bankruptcy; I may be forced to sell it. I don’t know what I am going to do,” said Kinsey.
For now, Kinsey has been staying in motels and has plans to move into a camper on his property, but he knows nothing will replace his home of more than 40 years.
“You just have no idea how special it was. I was very, very blessed to be able to live there this amount of time, and now I ain’t. But I wish I was in a better situation going away,” Kinsey said.