TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It's been more than seven years since the waters of the Wabash River flowed beyond their banks and into parts of Riverview, IN in Sullivan County.
Among those affected by the flood were Ellen and Rogier Donker, who lived in a home overlooking the river.
The Donkers spoke with News 10 shortly after the waters drove them from their house.
"At seven o'clock, Ellen determined the water was coming over the sandbags, and that was the end of it," Rogier Donker said at the time. "So we walked out of the house, threw the main circuit breaker, and walked away from our dream house on the Wabash."
With their home damaged beyond repair, the Donkers set out to build a new house on higher ground nearby. It was a daunting task, particularly given the potential costs of materials, so the Donkers set out to salvage parts of their old house to help build the new.
Among the first items to be saved: the family's porch.
"All I had to do was take it apart over there and put it together over here," Rogier said.
The family also salvaged hardwood floors and paneling, cleaning them extensively and bringing them to their new home. They even saved the stones that made the exterior walls and used them to build new walls.
"I just can't believe we did this," Rogier said. "I find it mind-boggling. I really do."
Donker said building the new home has brought him a wealth of stories. To hear him tell one of them, click on the play button.
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