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'Breaks my heart': Park City veteran's home washes away in Yellowstone River

Park City home washed away
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Posted at 6:43 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 21:00:19-04

PARK CITY — One Park City man is dealing with the unthinkable: High river levels pulled his home into the Yellowstone River early Wednesday morning.

“When it fell, this thing just started popping and cracking. Right at 3 o’clock in the morning, it just sloughed off and the river just carried it away,” said Mike Kinsey, 74.

Kinsey built his dream home along the banks of the Yellowstone River south of Park City by hand 40 years ago with a chainsaw and some telephone poles.

“You’d of had to have seen it when I got it all done. It turned out to be a two-story log home that me and my wife and three boys lived in for a long time,” said Kinsey.

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Mike Kinsey

But what took this 74-year-old veteran years to build fell apart in a matter of seconds.

Kinsey has seen the Yellowstone River rise and fall throughout the years, and flooding has always been a concern for him. Over the years, he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars securing the area around his home from possible flooding. The river had spilled onto his yard before, but he thought his home was protected by a field in front of the water.

He never expected his home would be ripped into the river.

“We were always able to save it before but not this time… Breaks my heart. It really does. I just don’t even know what to think right now,” Kinsey said.

Kinsey returned Wednesday morning to see the full damage in the daylight and what was possibly left.

“I was pretty sure this would be gone this morning. I’m kind of amazed that it’s here,” Kinsey said of the remaining wooden beams of the house still on the bank.

Kinsey feels fortunate he was able to live along the river for as long as he did.

“Yeah, I've had flood insurance the whole time I've owned the house, but I've never had a claim. Obviously, I do now,” Kinsey said.

Kinsey was able to grab some personal items from his home.

Video: Park City veteran's home falles into Yellowstone River