Family left homeless after devastating storm
A BAD storm earlier this year turned the life of Coraki's McClelland family upside down.
The roof was ripped from their rental home on January 29, and David and Rebekah McClelland with six children, a dog, cat and chooks, were forced to move into an expensive holiday rental in Evans Head.
The McClellands were living in a two-storey house next to an old petrol station in Coraki.
"There was a massive storm. I didn't think it would be so intense," Mrs McClelland said.
"The trees were bending double so I sent the kids upstairs to close the windows," she said.
The house was shaking and the children were taking a long time, she said.
"I screamed to the kids to get downstairs and we stood in the kitchen and could hear the ripping and clunking," she said.
"A sheet of tin flew past the window and I screamed for everyone to get in the bathroom."
The family ended up huddled in the bathroom with their dog Bowie.
"When we came out of the bathroom it was raining inside the house," Mrs McClelland said.
"We lost beds, cupboards and 80% of the kids' clothes."
The SES arranged for an emergency support worker to talk to the family and the Department of Housing gave the family two weeks' accommodation. They stayed with friends after that and then sought help from the Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre in Evans Head.
Now they live at a "hideously expensive" holiday house.
"Our children are respectful and well behaved," Mrs McClelland said.
The children attend Evans River School and Coraki Public School. The family want to return to the Coraki, Woodburn, Casino area but feel having a large family and animals puts them to the bottom of the list.
Anyone with a suitable house to rent can call Mr McClelland on 0412749255.