Bluffside community upside down after mudslide

Man dead, house carried away due to storm

The small bluffside community of Victory is upside down after a mudslide Thursday morning.

The mudslide took a whole house from the bluff down into Highway 35 around 4:30 a.m. Vernon County Sheriff John Spears said crews found the body of the homeowner nearby around 1:20 p.m.

While crews worked to clean up Highway 35, residents were looking at the community as if for the first time.

“It’s definitely the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” Victory resident Esther Fox said.

Because they’ve never seen it like this.

“Never,” resident Sherri Torgerson said. “It’s just unreal.”

“It’s devastated,” Sheriff Spears said. “The town is tore apart from the floodwaters.”

“I have some family that live up the road that can’t get down,” Fox said.

Mud has claimed garages, houses and cars.

“Vernon County is a mess right now,” Spears said.

With one man already dead, and more rain expected, Spears doesn’t want to see any more casualties.

“Avoid travel if you can,” he said. “If it’s not necessary, don’t go out today.”

Considering all the destruction, and possibly more on the way, the storm may go down in history.

“We know it’s going to be serious,” Spears said. “People keep asking if it’s comparable to floods of several years back. We don’t know yet, but right now it’s got a lot of potential.”

The storm has already left quite a mark in Victory.

“Unreal, unreal,” said Torgerson. “But you go with it, you can’t do nothing else.”

Spears is urging anyone who’s worried about flooding or mudslides Thursday night to go somewhere safe until the storm passes.