No home, no insurance, but the love of a small town

It’s bad enough that a mudslide inundates your home, sending you running for your life. But when you find out your home is gone and insurance won’t give you a dime, it’s an extra punch to the gut.

Homeowners insurance generally doesn’t cover flooding nor “acts of God.”

It happened to Randy Carlson, who has been a basketball coach in Belle Plaine for nearly 30 years.

“When you look in there [the dining room], that is probably about four feet deep of clay,” he tells WCCO.

So Belle Plaine is doing that small-town thing that small towns do.

While they pondered the tragedy, there was a cavalry waiting for them. It came in the form of his basketball community.

“Not only players that he’s coached, but players that he has coached against,” former player, Jeff Witt, said.

It came from the community and faculty.

“We got together shortly after the devastation hit and said, ‘What can we do for Randy and his family?’ At that time already the State Bank of Belle Plaine and the was already in the making,” Sparby said.

Their lives forever changed by the devastation.

“You count days. When the Red Cross saw us the first night, and they said ‘This is your new normal, Day 1.’ And they give you a book to record. And that’s where we are at. This is our new normal,” Terry said. “And it will be our new normal for the rest of our lives.”

But the small town spirit has been awakened.

“Lot of the times a small town gets knocked for being such a small town, but something like this happens and everybody rallies. It’s amazing,” Witt said.

Soon Carlson will coach again and that will help.

He can tell his players about what he learned about team work when they came to his aid.
“You accept what people do for you. And you be thankful and you just say thanks,” Randy said.

Belle Plaine will hold a benefit game on August 9 to raise funds for the Carlsons.