Rain causes wall to collapse beneath Rossville home

Photo Courtesy Keith Gephart
Photo Courtesy Keith Gephart

ROSSVILLE, Ind. (WLFI) – Keith Gephart said there’s only one way to describe the condition of his Rossville home.

“A mess,” said Gephart. “A true mess. The wall had caved on the inside of the basement and my basement was full of mud, blocks.”

Gephart said he’s never had a problem with water before, but said the massive rainfall last Thursday and Friday were too much for the drainage system to handle.

“It had to have been a massive explosion,” said Gephart. “It blew open all the doors inside the house, and knocked some pictures off the walls and things.”

The homeowner said on Friday afternoon the pressure from the torrential rain caused the weeping tile to explode, collapsing one wall beneath his home and damaging two other foundation walls.

Gephart, his girlfriend and two dogs were forced to evacuate while crews added temporary supports to keep the home from collapsing.

Now he said he is waiting to see if his insurance company will pay to fix the more than $50,000 of estimated damages.

“If they disapprove it, then it’s all on me,” Gephart said.

Gephart said his home isn’t in a flood plain and didn’t have flood insurance, but doesn’t think there is anything he could have done to prevent this from happening.

“The basement was solid, so I just think it was a freak act of mother nature,” said Gephart.

If the insurance company denies the claim, Gephart said he will have to walk away from the place he’s called home for more than 14 years.

“I’ll be moving out, and that’s the only choice I have right now,” said Gephart. “I don’t have $50,000 or $60,000 to fix this.”

News 18 left a message with Gephart’s insurance agent, but we did not receive a call back.

Gephart said the insurance company sent an engineering firm from Indianapolis to determine exactly how the water caused this wall to cave in.

He said based on the engineering report, the insurance company will decide whether they will pay to fix the damage.

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