Massive Christmas light display in Kalamazoo neighborhood destroyed by flooding

Posted at 10:39 PM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 22:40:00-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Ronald and Ruth Wiser are known for their house on Long Road during the Christmas season. They put up a massive amount of Christmas lights every year.

They start decorating October 1. The big reveal is usually December 1. But this year, the lights aren't going up for the first time in nearly three decades.

The historic flooding in Kalamazoo in February destroyed all the lights the Wiser family stores in a warehouse during the off season. The plastic storage tubs floated in the flood water, knocking over each of the rows of decorations like dominoes.

Ron says it's not a collection you can replace. It's been gathered over time, and putting together something like it doesn't happen overnight.

“That’s why it’s impossible to replace it," Ron said. "You only get about 10 things a year, and we had 200 out here. Two-thirds of it got destroyed. It would take years to build it back up.

The Wisers hope someone else will be able to take their place and go crazy with the Christmas lights this year.

“Maybe someone else will carry the torch and be the new Christmas decoration yard,” Ruth said.