GRAHAM, Wash. — A Pierce County couple’s dream home was demolished earlier in the week after their property experienced serious flooding issues from a year ago.
Officials say their home could’ve caused problems for the Puyallup River.
“Who would imagine anything like that would happen?” Shauna Pelley said.
In 2022, the Pelley’s were living in their dream home along the Puyallup River in Graham.
“Shauna wanted to raise alpacas and Nigerian miniature dwarf goats!” Kevin Pelley, Shauna’s husband said.
But that dream only lasted five weeks after major flooding impacted the river in November.
“There was the 5th highest flood on record and some debris broke upstream from us and changed the direction of the river,” Kevin said.
They say the river swallowed up their entire backyard, leaving the foundation of the home dangling over the Puyallup River.
“You can’t really predict Mother Nature and the force like the Puyallup River,” Kevin said.
And because of the threat their home could pose for the Puyallup River, the county said it had to go down. Their home was demolished several days ago. On Friday, the couple showed us what was left of it.
“This was kitchen and dining room. We had a fireplace over in here,” Shauna said.
The Pelley’s say they had everything - homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, everything they could potentially have to protect themselves.
But given the fact they can’t move their home to any other part of the property, neither the county, state, federal government, or insurance can help get their money back.
“So, we are looking at almost $700,000 we have nothing to show for it,” Kevin said.
“At the end of the day, we’re thankful, but still very frustrated and wondering what to do next,” Kevin said.
Shauna recorded several TikToks, documenting what was going on. The videos have gotten a ton of views. We asked the couple what their advice would be to anyone buying property near any body of water.
“Don’t do it. Stay away from the river. Stay away from lakes, too. If it’s going to flood, stay away from it,” Shauna said.
And while things are tough now, Shauna believes those TikToks and videos will be a reminder down the road that everything will be okay.
“To remind myself that no matter how bad my day is, it’s not going to be that bad,” Shauna said.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Pelley’s that we have linked here.
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