Family leaves home as river tears away land - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Family leaves home as river tears away land

NEAR NORFOLK, Neb. (KTIV) -- Many homeowners across northeast Nebraska have some tough choices ahead of them. Rebuild, or move on? One man living near Norfolk says, the Elkhorn River has made the decision for him.

Marty Clausen and his four kids live just a couple miles west of Norfolk. Their home sits right along the Elkhorn River, but Marty says since Wednesday, floodwaters have been eating away at his property.

The raging river has eroded a huge chunk of his land -- Marty estimates an average of five feet per hour. He says it hurts to watch the land go. He and his kids love the outdoors, and Marty says it's their dream home. But for the safety of his family, they're leaving it behind.

"Two miles from town and I'm out of the flood plain -- I thought. And I was able to work out of home here. Nice brick home and I'm pretty sure it's going to fall in the Elkhorn River," Clausen said.

Clausen's heating and cooling business is also on the property, and sits even closer to the river. A loss of income could mean a loss of his family's livelihood, but Marty says friends are helping him take care of that.

"I've already been offered a couple spots to start my shop so I can get going Monday morning. Like I said, I'm blessed," he said.

Marty says even if his home is spared from the river, he may not move back in for fear of safety. He doesn't have a new home lined up yet, but many of his friends came out Friday to help them move out, and Marty's confident they'll come through for him again.

Online Reporter: Zach Tecklenburg

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