Two-year-old Braden Parker is enjoying his sand box. But just one year ago, his family wasn't sure if they'd ever be back in their home again.
"I was thinking, you guys are overreacting, you might see a little bit of water on the floors, but nothing like we were going to lose what we did,” said Jennifer Parker.
Water came ripping through the Parkers' Marseilles neighborhood, forcing the family to evacuate.
When they came back four days later, the destruction was indescribable.
"I thought I would completely break down, but with all the people around you try to buck up a little bit,” said Jennifer Parker.
But as they surveyed the wreckage, "bucking up" was easier said than done.
"It's pretty overwhelming because there's nothing you can do."
That meant nothing except rebuilding. Thanks to a grant from FEMA, and Steve's expertise as a carpenter, the family did so.
"If it wasn't for that, we'd have ended up walking away, there was no way,” said Steve Parker.
Steve spent countless 12 hour days working on the house, while the family stayed with relatives. Finally, the family was back in their home around Christmas-time.
"You're moving into the same address, but it's not the same."
"But the house is still very much a work in progress. This hay is providing insulation until the holes in the foundation can be repaired."
But now, with a home that's closer to normal, and a few minor projects still to complete, the decision feels right.
"I know it was worth it. Our kids are happy. That's what matters,” said Steve Parker.
The Parkers' FEMA grant was for $31,900. They were also given assistance by Red Cross.
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