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CU starts fund for member who lost home in flood
CUDAHY, Wis. (6/13/08)--Cudahy-Southshore CU plans to set up a relief fund for a former board chairman whose home was one of those shown in national media falling into a drained Lake Delton, Wis., after flooding eroded the shoreline. Thomas and Tina Pekar's one-story home was one of five homes that collapsed last weekend when flooding breached a strip of land between the lake and the Wisconsin River. The lake, a major tourist attraction in the Midwest, was drained dry. "All the land around the home just washed away," said Chris Rosland, CEO of the $14 million asset credit union based in Cudahy, Wis. "He and his wife were contacted by the police or sheriff at about 2 a.m. They were told they needed to evacuate because the water was rising and would soon cut across the road, and then they wouldn't be able to get out," Rosland told News Now. "They packed some things, but later that morning the water washed the soil and sand away, and their house collapsed into the void." The house split in half with its porch/deck area falling into the lake bed. Thomas Pekar had been on the board since 1987 and served as chairman at least a dozen years. Before that, Pekar was a credit committee member. The Pekars moved to the Lake Delton area between two and three years ago, and Pekar is still a member of the credit union. They are staying at an area hotel until they make more permanent arrangements, Rosland said. "The ironic thing is they had other land with a doublewide mobile home that they sold recently. And they had sold their home in Cudahy when they built the one on the lake," he said. "It was their primary home." He noted many people have asked the credit union to set up a flood relief fund for the Pekars. "We'll do that and promote it on our website. People already are making donations," he said. "Our board will meet Monday to see what else we can do. "They have nothing. They were able to get back into their garage and remove a couple of things, but all their possessions are history," he said. It is not likely they will be able to build on the property again. "I'm assuming that even if they could build it back, it won't be in the near future. The land would have to be restored first," he told News Now. Rosland recalled an earlier flood, the Brown Deer, Wis., flood where homes were declared uninhabitable by the government. The homeowners were reimbursed by the county, state and federal governments, and that area is now a wetland. "You insure your house and your contents, but not the land. All the money they invested in the land is gone, unless they can get a settlement from the community and the state," he said. To complicate matters, the area's residents were told they were above a flood plane. Now, there is a disagreement among community, state and federal authorities about where the 100-year flood level standard floor should be.


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