"It was three stories, two full baths," David Kaneshiro said.
And now, there is nothing but a shed left of Kaneshiro's house. The home was one of four on Water Street in Jamaica completely washed away by Tropical Storm Irene. Kaneshiro says the nightmare didn't end there; he has spent years dealing with FEMA.
"I couldn't believe how unorganized everything was," Kaneshiro said. "And information we were getting was conflicting even between FEMA workers."
At first, the four families were approved for FEMA buyouts, but the decision didn't hold. He says they have been playing the waiting game, and two years later, he still lives in a rental apartment with no answers.
"FEMA turned the light off at the end of the tunnel of hope. But now with this new program that we are working with, I think there is the light at the end of the tunnel again," Kaneshiro said.
Gov. Peter Shumlin announced plans for the state to buyout flooded homeowners-- like those on Water Street-- who don't qualify for FEMA and are still homeless.
"Because our congressional delegation has brought us additional federal money, $21 million, to help rebuild from Irene, we're going to be able to use those dollars along with private dollars from the Stratton Foundation and others to help get them their 75 cents on every dollar in a buyout, that other Irene victims are getting," said Shumlin, D-Vermont.
The plan calls for the town of Jamaica to pay the 25 percent that federal money will not cover. And the land must be turned into public green space. In order to turn the four lots where the houses used to stand into a useable green space, the town could pay upwards of $200,000.
"The town doesn't have any money left. We are operating on empty now for months, so it's not a done deal yet," said Paul Fraser, a Jamaica selectman.
The town is still trying to fix $5 million in road damage, but says helping Water Street families is a priority.
Kaneshiro has his fingers crossed for a place to call home.
"I hope to find something on higher ground," he said with a laugh.
No specific details have been released regarding the plan and the town of Jamaica and families applying for the aid will have to wait several months for more information.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:30:10 GMT
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.State Police say Route 5 in Derby Line is closed near Caswell Avenue because of a hole in the pavement just a couple of feet over the lineMore >>
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
It was a storm that left residents with more damage than they could have ever imagined. "The basement has about 13 inches of water," said Bob Genter of Underhill. And preparing for the aftermath of theMore >>
Flash floods left destruction across the region. And the rain is not over. Heavy downpours left some people trapped in their neighborhoods as emergency crews work to try to clear the roads.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:54:18 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:20:50 GMT
As the cleanup gets underway from Thursday night's flash flooding, the focus shifts now to the broader impacts of rising rivers from around the region. All the rain so far and more to come is running intoMore >>
All the rain is running into larger streams and rivers that are moving rapidly toward flood stage.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:44:50 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
Over the river and throught the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, its the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door. Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turnedMore >>
Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:25:14 GMT
A rainy Vermont City Marathon forecast isn't slowing down runners or organizers. "Well, we're going to make some liquid sunshine out of all of this rain. That's the only choice we've got right now," saidMore >>
The countdown is on to this weekend's Vermont City Marathon and final preps are underway. Those finishing touches are coming in the rain, but organizers say the weather isn't slowing things down.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:35 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:35:15 GMT
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex. The parade is held annually on the Saturday morning of the holiday weekend. But after all the rain and flooding damageMore >>
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex.More >>