Pratten’s Melissa Short and her daughter Ayla, 4, explore the aftermath of the storm that destroyed their home.
Pratten’s Melissa Short and her daughter Ayla, 4, explore the aftermath of the storm that destroyed their home. Kerri Burns-Taylor

Couple’s dream home blown away in a flash

IT WAS their dream home - their "forever" home - and they had spent months and every dollar they owned bringing it to life.

But on Wednesday night it took a violent storm just 20 minutes to roar through Chris and Melissa Short's Pratten property and rip their dream from its foundations.

Owner-builder Chris has worked tirelessly since April this year to build the home he and his wife planned to raise their daughter Ayla, 4, in.

Now their home, which was almost in lock-up stage, is in ruins and their future is uncertain.

The home was not insured and Chris said he doesn't even know if the family will be able to stay in Pratten.

"This was meant to be our end-of-life thing and now it's gone," he said.

"We can't just go and build again because we have no money - we spent it on all on this."

Wednesday was the couple's third wedding anniversary and instead of marking the occasion with a romantic dinner, the Shorts were huddled inside a shed, riding out the vicious storm.

Melissa's 82-year-old grandmother also lives with the couple and was home at the time and fortunately no one was hurt.

"I checked at 7.20pm and BOM said a storm warning for the area had been cancelled - I won't tell you what I said but I thought they're effin' mad," he said.

"Then I heard the noise. It sounded like when you watch a movie and there's a tidal wave - that whoosh.

"I will never forget the noise of that night for as long as I live."

Melissa said she knew the horrible truth before she saw it for herself.

"We were terrified and I thought the roof was going to come off the shed," she said.

"I knew the house was gone before we even went outside."

Melissa said she was heartbroken to spend yesterday morning examining the devastation of her "dream home".

"It's mind-numbing," she said. "I was really looking forward to getting into the house and just having a home again."

The Shorts have cattle, chooks and lambs on their property and fortunately all but one chook escaped unscathed.

Chris said he and Melissa were unsure what their next move was but they were hoping some kind of disaster relief may become available to help them through their hard time.

 

 

 



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