As Paulette Downey hauls destroyed furniture out of her home, she contemplates what is next for her family after the mess is cleaned up.

"We just keep getting punches thrown at us and I don't know how many more it's going to take until we are knocked down," says Downey.

Downey and her family moved to Saint John from Toronto in 2016 for her husband's job. They decided to extensively renovate a century home, leaving some historic touches behind.

Downey calls it their dream home, a place where they could plant roots and become part of the community. But that dream quickly fell apart.

"The job that brought my husband here didn't work out, and given the costs and everything that we were already in so deep with the house, we had to finish that, seeing that through," explains Downey.

This spring's historic flood swallowed up their basement, with water reaching as high as the window sill. The damage is extensive and will be expensive to fix, if it even can be repaired.

Downey adds none of the damage is being covered by insurance, as her insurance company told her they don't cover 'acts of nature'.

"We really can't do anything until we find out how the federal government can help. Until then we can't do anything. We don't have the means to do anything," says Downey.

Perhaps the silver lining is the overwhelming support they've received from complete strangers. Volunteers in Saint John dedicated their weekend to helping those suffering from flood damage.

"It really makes the disaster all that more cope-able when you have a little help from your friends," says volunteer Karen Riley.

"You know people we just waved to, we are now invited to barbeques. It's opened up a whole different community here," says Downey.

The family says knowing there a group of people behind them gives them a new sense of hope, while they come to terms with what they've lost.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Mary Cranston.