Emotions ‘still very raw’ one year after flood took family’s beloved River House
West Plains residents Kris and Greg Hubbard were in Nashville, Tennessee, attending a business meeting in April 2017 when they first got word of the flood back in West Plains – as well as on the North Fork of the White River near Dawt, where they owned a large vacation home. Then they got a cryptic and shocking message from their neighbor on PP Highway. “He barely had cell service, and the message just said, ‘I’m sorry. Your house is gone and your garage is gone,’” Kris Hubbard told theTimes last year. “I kept saying, ‘This isn’t real. This can’t be real.’”
The items in the house and garage that were washed away included family photos, custom-made guitars her husband enjoyed playing, lawn mowers, fourwheelers, all kinds of things, she said. For 12 years, the home had been a beloved gathering spot for family and friends who came from all over the U.S. – Colorado Springs, Dallas, Arizona, Oklahoma – and lots of friends from Bakersfield, where Kris grew up.
“Everyone would come here all the time. We had so many good times in that house,” she said. “Now the house may be gone, but those memories, those are all still intact.”
Contacted last month by the Times, Kris said the year since the flood “has been a huge change of life for us. Our emotions are still very raw when it comes to thinking about the year anniversary!’
She and her husband, an orthopedic surgeon, haven’t made a decision about what to do with their riverside property, she said. “It is no longer our beautiful escape. It is truly just a rock field with about a 12-foot drop to the river.”
When people ask about their plans, “our answers are always the same: ‘Right now we have been putting our focus on fixing our house here in town [West Plains] since it was damaged in the flood also, and we’re not making any drastic decisions on our river property.’ ... It would be almost impossible to get it back to, or even close to the way it was.”