Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

October 6, 2013

Resident rebuilds home, can't rebuild life on Boardman

TRAVERSE CITY — Charlie Frye is haunted by vivid memories of his idyllic stretch of Boardman River rising to wash away the life he worked so hard to build.

Brown Bridge Dam breached a year ago today and sent millions of gallons of water downstream. The flood damaged dozens of residential properties, including Frye’s. He’s managed to rebuild his house, but the retired lineman, 93, likely won’t ever truly call it home again.

Frye worked for 50 years to create his American dream alongside the river. The water that for decades soothed him whipped into a raging torrent in a matter of minutes on Oct. 6, 2012. It washed away the streamside paradise he created with his own blood and sweat.

“It’s just a place to live,” Frye told his daughters Sharon Pierce and Jennifer Coy. “It will never be my home again. My home went out in two dumpsters.”

The flood and four months of struggles to rebuild the World War II veteran’s life are too painful for him to discuss, too traumatic for him to relive.Water rising

Frye left his house along River Road that day after someone called him about the dam breach and commanded he go to higher ground. He went to his daughter Jennifer Coy’s house a few miles away.

“You should see the river; it’s up so high and flooded,” he told her, adding that some of the emergency crews along the way told him to come back at about 5 p.m.

“He did,” Jennifer said. “He was bound and determined to go himself, but he couldn’t get into the driveway.”

His other daughter, Sharon, and her husband Tom Pierce tried to go to the house that day but emergency personnel at roadblocks wouldn’t let them through. They went at 10 p.m. that night with flashlights and looked inside the house.

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot