Ernie and Ken Knopp work to fortify the damaged sea wall fronting the Fort Rupert Home of Noreen Hunt after the home was damaged in last week's storms.

Home saved from dip in the ocean

PORT HARDY-Volunteers help Fort Rupert resident salvage belongings as tidal surge, high winds threaten coastal home

PORT HARDY—Noreen Hunt was concerned enough about the high tide surge and winds to move out of her bedroom and sleep on the ground floor of her coastal home in Fort Rupert the night of Thursday, Nov. 24.

Still, she was shocked to get a call at work the following morning from her sister-in-law, Davina Brown-Hunt.

“She said I should go home, because the house could be lost,” said Hunt, who hurried home to find her seawall damaged and her porch taken away by the fury of the storm.

The water also undermined part of the home’s foundation, leaving her kitchen floor with a noticeable list.

“I thought I was going to lose the house,” said Hunt. “I’ve been there 25 years and never had any problems.”

A battalion of volunteers rushed to remove her belongings before the house slid away from its embankment, but when the winds and tide abated with no further damage others went to work to save the structure.

Ernie and Ken Knopp moved in with a backhoe and small bulldozer to remove debris from the damaged seawall and place large rocks as riprap to fortify the shoreline.

Hunt has been staying in a motel and her goods have been in storage while she waits for the summary report of an engineer who has looked at the house.

But she now believes she will be able to return one day.

“It’s been a difficult situation, and I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped me.”