“Heartbreaking” as it was, there has been a positive outcome to last year’s flooding for one Mataura family.
Zac, Ashley, Wyatt and Kenai Shanks were evacuated from their home in Mataura’s Main St on February 5.
At the time Mrs Shanks was 35 weeks pregnant.
Two days later when they returned, they found their belongings had been ruined by the floodwater, which had been more than 30cm deep throughout the house.
The family spent the next nine months living with family members and returned home at the end of November.
Mrs Shanks said at the time the experience was a shock and “really heartbreaking”.
However, as the couple started the process of making the house liveable again they were able to use the insurance money to upgrade the electrics and plumbing.
If it had not been for the flood the couple could not have afforded those items.
“It was kind of a blessing in a way,” Mrs Shanks said.
Some of the flooring had also been replaced.
When an insurance assessor was looking over the house, he found other issues that were not flood-related.
“We had to pay for a lot of things with our own money because we had hidden rot damage which we had no idea about.”
The couple and their friends completed some of the work on the house.
“We did all the painting ourselves.”
Even though there was more work to be finished on the house, it was “a thousand times better now” and the family was living there, Mrs Shanks said.
“Nothing beats home.”
Octavia’s birth four days before lockdown was the highlight of a very stressful year.