– Bexley for Sept 4th 2010 North New Brighton for Feb 22nd 2011

On September 4th 2010 I was asleep in my bed when I awoke to loud booming sounds and the bedroomed being violently shaken.

I jumped out of bed and tried to get out of the house but all the doors were jammed I was trying frantically to get to my two elderly neighbours to ensure they were ok and to seek company as I live alone, I finally managed to get the lounge ranch slider open and as I was running around the side of the house I couldn’t help but notice what a beautiful moonlight night it was.

The neighbours met me at my gate and we were able to comfort each other it was so good to have their support.

My daughter and son in law insisted that I went to their home and we huddled under duvets on the couch until the morning finally arrived when I insisted on returning home to my beaten wee home in Bexley.

I was able to live there despite the damage until Feb 22nd 2011 when the second major one struck.

I had taken two weeks leave to look after my daughter who had a two week old son born 7th Feb, her husband had returned to work and I wanted to be with her to assist with the baby.

The Mon was a glorious day and I was anticipating what a lovely time we would have together on lovely sunny warm days walking with the pram around North New Brighton.

When I arrived on the Tues morning she asked if she could pop down to East gate around lunchtime to get the thankyou cards printed for all the lovely gifts they had received.

She had not long gone and the baby awoke so I went in to pick him up and got as far as the hallway with him in my arms when the whole house started to rock and shake.

I got out of the house and stood in an area where nothing would fall on us, I was crying and holding tight to my wee grandson who slept in my arms, I could hear her neighbours all calling out to me and each other checking that everyone was ok.

I sat on the outdoor furniture too frightened to go back inside as there where continuing aftershocks, eventually my daughter came running in white as a ghost and in tears as she told me that there had been a lot of damage at the Eastgate Mall.

Later that day when her husband finally managed to get home I returned to my wee house in Bexley Rd which was flooded I had to walk the whole length of the street in knee high water to get to the house to retrieve enough clothes to see me through until I could get back into the house.

This never happened as all services were disconnected to the house as it sunk into the ground and was considered to dangerous, I was advised by EQC to leave and I lived with my family for four months until I moved into rental accomodation were I still am, hoping that things might get back to normal one day soon.

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