WATERVILLE — A friend of Joe Ludeman's is from Louisiana and went through the flooding from Hurricane Katrina.
"When all that happened, we sit up here and we're like, 'Oh my God, how awful,'" Ludeman said. "But you really don't appreciate how awful it was until you look around here."
Here being his property off of Highway 2, about 8 miles east of Waterville. Flooding from a Saturday thunderstorm destroyed many of his belongings.
He said he bought the house in the mid-1990s and lived there until he was injured in a farming accident in 2004. He's had a few tenants since then.
Ludeman lived on the property in an RV that also flooded. His 1986 Buick Grand National, which he didn't insure because he never drove it, was totaled.
He also doesn't have flood insurance for the house.
"My insurance agent is in Waterville and told me that she's never, ever sold flood insurance to anyone," he said. "It just doesn't happen here."
Ludeman has been staying with his mom, and his tenant also has a place to stay for now. His son, who lives in Waterville, has been helping and friends have also offered their time and equipment.
But the house is uninhabitable and will likely have to be demolished eventually, he said.
"One moment I get news from the insurance company that everything's great," he said. "An hour later I get a call that everything's the worst it could be. It's just up and down and back and forth. I just want some solid answers — good or bad, one way or the other, so at least you can plan. ... Without insurance money, I can't even pay to clean it."
Ludeman's son races cars, so they were at Wenatchee Valley's Super Oval near East Wenatchee when he got the call about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
"Got here about 9:30-ish and I couldn't even get in here," he said Monday. "The water was literally up to the highway, right even with the pavement. Couldn't drive in here. I went back to Wenatchee and spent the night at my mom's. Yesterday we came back and the water was gone, but now we see all the mud and silt. That's going to be harder to move than the water."
He estimates the interior of the house got about a foot of water, but the basement was filled. The Douglas County PUD shut off the power, so he couldn't run pumps or fans.
Jeremy Anders, general manager of the Super Oval, started a GoFundMe page at wwrld.us/33uR37S with Ludeman's consent. He said he's known the family for at least 10 years.
"In the racing community, we're a pretty tight-knit group," he said. "A lot of the donations so far have been from the racing family, but I also know the Ludemans are a very well-liked family in Waterville and the whole Wenatchee Valley, North Central Washington area. I figured this was the best way to reach the masses as best we could."
Along with the GoFundMe, people have been donating at North Cascades Bank. Ludeman said if his insurance does cover the damage, he'll return whatever donations that weren't made anonymously.
Anders said racers might also hold a work party for the Ludemans.
"They're an amazing family. Whether it be in the racing community or just the community in general, they've done a lot," he said. "Hopefully the community can rally together to support them because they've supported the community a lot."