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Miraculous move: Amish community comes together to assist Montana resident with flood-damaged property

Amish and non-Amish volunteers moved garage by hand
Mike Kinsey watching the move
Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 06, 2024

PARK CITY — MTN News introduced you to Mike Kinsey in 2022 after a video he shot of his Park City home, being ripped away by roaring waters, went viral worldwide.

Now, nearly two years later, more than 100 volunteers came together to make a miraculous move for Kinsey.

"I've lived here since 1977," Kinsey said on Saturday. "I want to be home. My kids want to be home. Everybody wants to be home."

Mike Kinsey
Mike Kinsey

For the past two years, Kinsey has been living out of his trailer.

The 76-year-old Army veteran had his life turned upside down in 2022 after the historic June flood ripped away his Park City home—and all he could do was watch.

Mike Kinsey's video from June 2022

He took the video above with his cellphone.

"I have friends who are from Sweden," Kinsey said. "They saw me on the news in Sweden. Can you imagine?”

Since then, it’s been a waiting game as he was seemingly left to deal with the damage on his own.

He hoped to eventually rebuild the home that he originally constructed by hand nearly 50 years ago.

"That’s my goal, is to be able to put some sort of either a modular house or a built house,” said Kinsey.

But his garage remained on the floodplain, and before Kinsey could even think about a home rebuild, he knew it had to be moved.

Luckily, Kinsey made friends with the right people at the right time.

“Nelson was working on that red and black barn right there. I was driving out of my yard and he waved at me, and I thought it was Clint, my neighbor. (Nelson) and his son came up and introduced themselves... I said, ‘You probably saw me on the news.’ And he said, ‘I’ve never watched the news.’" Kinsey explained. "I said, 'I used to have a house down here.' And he goes, ‘Really?’ And I kind of told him the story. Anyway, a few months later... I called Nelson and I told him that my garage is too close to the river and I was going to dismantle it. I had that planned. I was going to give it to Nelson, for the material, just take it down and have it out of here. And then Nelson said, ‘There’s no way in my mind that I can tear down that nice building.’”

Nelson Troyer
Nelson Troyer

Nelson Troyer, an Amish man, didn’t hesitate to help out. He planned a move with Kinsey, recruited volunteers, and made everything happen.

"(We) saw it on Facebook and it said to call Nelson... He said there were going to be 70 Amish and they wanted 70 non-Amish. So I said, ‘Well, we’re not Amish!’ And here we are," said Bev Grauman, a volunteer from the Shepherd area, on Saturday. “Just seeing a whole bunch of people coming together for one man who has been looking for help and hasn’t been able to find it for two years, it’s pretty powerful. I think it’s going to really mean something to him to see 100+ people come out just to help him."

Bev Grauman (right)
Bev Grauman (right)

On Saturday, more than 100 volunteers showed up on Kinsey’s property ready to lend a helping hand. They were dropped off by the busload to move Kinsey’s garage with sheer strength.

Bus drop-off on Kinsey's property
Bus drop-off on Kinsey's property

"We’re going to move a building. Like, with manpower.” Grauman exclaimed.

Each volunteer had to carry about 90 pounds, according to Troyer.

The day ended in song before a silent prayer and lunch.

“It’s an amazing thing, isn’t it? Just amazing," said Kinsey. “I just can’t believe it."

Kinsey is now looking to the future, once again hopeful. He said he will never forget the kindness shown by volunteers.

Mike Kinsey watching the move
Mike Kinsey watching the move

"It's hard to express. I can’t. And especially considering the (weather) conditions," Kinsey said. "It’s hard to express. Just gratitude. Overwhelming gratitude. I couldn’t be more thankful."

The garage's former foundation
The garage's former foundation

To read MTN's first story with Kinsey in June 2022, click here.

To learn more about the preparation for Saturday's move, click here.