Many homes across North America come equipped with basements, those beloved underground spaces that can be used for storage, recreation and many other possibilities.
Unfortunately, these basements can sometimes be more of a pain than they’re worth. It’s estimated that over 98% of homes with basements will incur some amount of water damage, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix.
For one New Brunswick, Canada family, however, the dangers of foundational water damage became all too real when their home’s basement collapsed during a recent period of flooding.
According to the CBC, mother of four Amy Gow was almost killed when flash flooding in the town of Hoyt caused her home’s basement to collapse. Moments before, she had been in the basement to turn the house’s power off.
“By the time I got to the basement, the water was up to my waist,” she said. “About three minutes later, the whole basement wall collapsed.”
The flood waters came from a nearby stream which is usually fairly calm, Gow told the CBC. During this month’s bout of heavy rains, however, the water had risen above its banks and was lapping around Gow’s house.
Upon the basement’s collapse, Gow called 911, and firefighters were able to safely get her and her children onto a boat.
Gow and her children are now left without a home, as they haven’t been allowed back inside since the collapse destroyed the house’s foundation.
Michael Harnish, the home’s owner, said New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization won’t allow anyone inside the home, as it’s considered unlivable.
In the meantime, the Canadian Red Cross is helping the Gows find a new place to live. But this also means leaving everything from their home behind.
“Unfortunately we can’t recover anything from the house,” said Gow. “So we’ve basically got to start all over again.”