A Nova Scotia couple says they've been through a crash course in insurance and red tape after their home was struck by a transport truck in May.

John and Joni Mabey’s house sits on a busy intersection in the Pictou County town of Westville, but was seriously damaged when a CN rail tractor trailer slammed into the side of it.

The driver had gone into medical distress.

"Right now the house is done,” said John Mabey. “There's no repairing it. It's pretty well had it this time."

The intersection has nearly been deadly for the Mabeys. Vehicles have slammed into the house five different times, with the last two being the most serious. Both times, Joni was home.

“She was screaming, I couldn't make her out,” said John Mabey. “I told her to calm down and then I … seen the truck through here.”

A nearby fire hydrant was also struck. The basement filled with more than a metre-and-a-half of water, drowning 35 years of memories and valuables.

“It’s unrepairable,” said the Mabey’s daughter, Jolene Mabey-Smith. “The grandkids used to come up and want to spend every weekend with nanny and poppy and they can't now because it's too cold and some of the grandkids are scared to be here.”

Mabey-Smith is working to make sure they have a place to live come winter.

“I'm scared for them to be here,” she said. “They shouldn't be here. But what other option do they have?”

The Mabeys say they can't find another property for $70,000, the amount CN offered them. While the compensation is being worked out, CN paid an out of home cost to cover their rent on a trailer over the summer. But since the park closed last month, the couple have been staying in the home. 

“At least we have a roof over our head. Might freeze to death,” said John Mabey. 

After two months of searching, they found a rental that would take them and their three dogs as of Nov. 1. But the cheque they say was promised from CN never arrived and they lost the rental.

“I was told that he requested the check to be Purolated so it would be here at the end of last week so that they could verify and get the rental. And I called that poor adjuster every day three times a day and come Friday. Nothing,” Mabey said. 

Now the Mabeys will have two space heaters and their dogs for warmth while they wait for word about the house they never wanted to leave in the first place.

“I don't want to leave it,” said Mabey. “I brought them all up. I just don't want to leave it. It's hard to do.”

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelly Linehan.