Saturday, March 02, 2002

Life turned upside down

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] A clock was the only thing Virgil Rarrieck of Shelby Street was able to salvage from his kitchen after the flood.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        FALMOUTH, Ky. — On the sloped backyard, the winter mud gave way under Virgil Rarrieck's boots.

        Down over the embankment about 100 feet, the Licking River is home to the white perch, blue gill and catfish that Mr. Rarrieck has fished for all his life.

        Except for the six months back in '97. That's when the Licking turned his life upside down and the Rarriecks lived in a camper.

        Mr. Rarrieck, 65, and his wife of 44 years, Shirley, raised three kids in the small house on East Shelby Street, and all still live nearby. Mrs. Rarrieck grew up next door. With the post-flood federal loan they're still paying off, moving to higher ground was always an option, but not really.

        Much of the Rarriecks' home is new now. The kitchen cabinets. The carpet. The walls. “I had to tear everything out, strip the whole house,” he said. “We got nothing out.”

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