An ambitious project to protect a pre-Civil War Tioga County house from future flooding is nearing completion.

Julie Nucci and Jim Overhiser decided to elevate their historic home in the village of Owego following the flood of September 2011. The couple had acquired the house in April of the previous year.

The home at 260 Main Street is believed to have been constructed around 1849.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Overhiser said flooding apparently had never been a problem for the house - until the heavy rainfall just over four years ago.

Nucci said the scene immediately after the rain stopped was "just surreal."

Nucci and Overhiser were determined to stay in their home despite the devastation. They ultimately chose to have the house raised by four feet to minimize the risk of serious damage from a future flood.

Nucci said she "knew that this old house would not take it again." She said this is the first time the New York State Historic Preservation Office has been involved with the elevation of a historic house.

Throughout the process, the couple's dog Tucker has kept a close eye on the work.

Although it has been a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process, Nucci and Overhiser said they are glad they decided to raise their home.

The sign on the front of the house reflects the question they've heard most often: "Why?" They are pleased to declare: "Because we love this town."

LOOK at the "Binghamton Now" photo gallery of the progress of the elevation project of the historic home on Main Street in Owego.

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