Decades of memories have been reduced to rubble for a Sydney family living in the area hit hardest by the Thanksgiving Day storm.

“It's pretty sad,” said homeowner Suzanne Donovan. “We lived here since 1979. This is my parent’s home, so it's heartbreaking.”  

It was also an emotional time for nearby neighbours who are facing the reality of spending their first Christmas not in their own home.

“We are actually homeless for the holidays,” said homeowner Terry Drohan. “It's not a good feeling to not have a home, to be staying in temporary residences with the holidays approaching.”

Others are still in their homes but with no heat. Neil Harker has a young family and is using this electric heater to stay warm. His oil furnace was damaged in the flood and will need to be replaced, according to officials.

It's a message he received weeks ago and still no sign of help.

“Before too long this weather isn't going to last,” said Harker. “We're going to get cold weather and there's going to be more people homeless. it's just going to add to the total cost for the province.”

Residents living in this area say they're quickly running out of patience. While some owners are seeing action from their insurance company, others are still waiting for EMO.

“This is one of two homes, they have the same insurance company and to see them taking action so quickly and we seem to be getting bogged down in bureaucracy and paper work is adding to the frustration,” said Drohan.

Suzanne Donovan is hoping her family will be able to rebuild elsewhere.

“I'm hoping they're going to flatten it and make a green space and tear the houses down,” she said.

In total, 17 homes are slated for demolition in the Sydney area.

EMO has been conducting soil tests for oil and other contamination on the properties. In a release, the organization says it has added more people to assess contamination levels to try and speed up the process.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.