Flooded family needs help before winter
Turner Valley: Luczkos looking for a solution after losing home in June 20th flood
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 08:38 am
A Turner Valley family is struggling to get on with their lives after losing their home in last spring’s flood and the looming winter is fueling their anxiety.
With winter on the horizon, Gabrielle Luczko said she fears the recreational vehicle she and her husband bought to temporarily replace their home this summer won’t keep her family warm this winter and they are looking to the Province for help.
Their bungalow, one of six homes in the low lying area of North Royalite Way, had about 12 inches of water sweep through when the Sheep River flooded its banks on June 20.
“We had water everywhere,” she said. “This was our first property. We bought it in April and we put everything into it. Now we’ve got nothing.”
The two-acre property is located on what the Province has deemed flood fringe. Only homes in flood ways are being reimbursed the last assessed value of their home by the government.
Luczko said she remains in contact with the Province frequently, but said the only money she received was from the Canadian Red Cross and debit cards issued by the government shortly after the flood.
The money allowed them to purchase food, add concrete to their well to make it higher and buy a new well pump to replace a damaged unit. Luczko said she doesn’t think the well water is safe to drink so she is still boiling water to bathe her two and six-year-old daughters.
“I’m waiting to see what the government is coming back with,” she said. “I call them every week to see where they are at, but they are still looking at the papers.”
An inspector looked at the home earlier this summer and informed Luczko the subfloors and electrical need to be replaced.
“We need someone to safely check the house to rebuild the furnace,” she said. “So much works needs to be done it’s probably easier to demolish it and rebuild. We are hoping it’s going to happen sooner than later.”
In the meantime, her family is doing what they can on their own.
They dug a pit in their yard to access gravel to build a base for a heated shop where they can place their RV during the winter, but they still need a permit before it can be built.
Luczko said she is trying to sell their SUV and buy a cheaper vehicle so they won’t have to make payments.
They’ve also made an enclosure for their two Siberian Husky pups, using posts from the fence that surrounded their property before the flood destroyed a good portion of it.
“We are trying to save as much as we can,” she said.
Leaving the property isn’t an option right now, Luczko said.
“I don’t want to move my daughter out of her school,” she said. “And I always loved the mountains and always wanted to live here.”
As for returning to their home, Luczko said it’s too dangerous. She doesn’t even like going inside.
“We have so much mould in the crawl space,” she said. “I have two children so I don’t want to risk anything.”
With the uncertainties over their home, Luczko said she takes comfort in the support her family has received since the flood.
Luczko said as many as 50 volunteers including local companies, Town employees, firefighters and local residents helped with clean up.