Mud-hit house likely to be demolished
A Lyttelton couple whose house was flooded with mud after a landslip are ''heartbroken'' to hear it will probably be demolished.
Belinda de Bono and Harry Peterson had to evacuate their Hawkhurst Rd cottage on Monday night last week after extensive rain caused a landslide that filled the house with mud up to a metre deep.
Peterson said the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and insurers had inspected the house, and the couple were "gutted" to hear it would not survive the disaster.
''Their unofficial position to us was that it would be a writeoff. An official report is due this week, but that's what we've been told is very likely,'' he said.
''We are devastated to lose the house we loved so much. It's extremely sad.
''But then the other day I looked at the old girl and thought of everything she's been through and thought maybe she's just finally had enough.''
Before the mudslip, the EQC had just signed off the repairs for the $65,000 damage caused to the cottage by the earthquakes.
The house was still deemed ''unsafe to enter'' because of the risk of further mudslides.
''We've managed to go in the front and get some more clothes, but EQC have told us not to enter the house because the land is still unstable. We're hoping the weather will dry out soon so it becomes safer,'' Peterson said.
The couple were now living in a Riccarton hotel but would move into a furnished apartment in Spreydon next month.
''It will be nice to move into a home rather than a hotel. We'll try to surround ourselves with a few familiar things and maybe feel a bit better," he said.
Peterson and de Bono had started making a list for their insurance company of everything they had lost in their home, but were finding it difficult.
''It's all those things you keep in the spare drawer that you can't replace - ashtrays the kids have made, that cup you got for Father's Day and never used. It's all part of your life,'' Peterson said.
''Hopefully, once we start again, we'll have that spare drawer somewhere else in the near future.''
They were unsure whether they would stay in Christchurch long-term.
Peterson had operated an antique shop in Lyttelton but it had to be demolished after extensive damage in the June 13 quake last year.
''We already had to watch the shop come down. We're now in two minds whether we can stand to watch the house come down,'' he said.
''The stress is really starting to get to us. It sounds cliched, but there's just been so much heartbreak here.''
Peterson said they had been overwhelmed with the support they had received since the mudslide.
''We've really learnt that you're homeless but you're never friendless.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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