Sydney family has a warm home thanks to Maritimers' generosity
Published Friday, December 7, 2018 10:53PM AST
Last Updated Friday, December 7, 2018 10:54PM AST
A Cape Breton woman who has spent a week without heat after her furnace was damaged by flood waters, has heat back in her home thanks to the generosity of Maritimers.
Christmas has come early for Chelsea O’Neil and her family. He may not look like old St. Nick, but Chris MacAskill from MacAskill's Oil and Heat Service came bearing the biggest gift of all -- a new furnace.
“They are heating our house, so there's nothing I could possibly give back to them to thank them enough for what they are doing,” said O’Neil.
It's an emotional time for O’Neil who earlier this week had no idea if she would have heat in her home for the holidays.
Her furnace was destroyed after last week's storm flooded her basement.
Her insurance wouldn't cover it and she didn't have the money to fix it.
But after our story aired, help started to pour in from around the community and other parts of the Maritimes.
“Basically, me and another fella who doesn't want to be named, we got together and had a chat and went to a local supplier and went to a local corporation,” said MacAskill. “They helped us donate all the material and the labour is free. We have a bunch of other companies pitching in to get the job done and get these people heat for Christmas.”
O’Neil says her home has flooded six times in two years, because of the Wash Brook located near her home.
The furnace is being moved to the main level for better protection.
It's a job that would usually cost more than $7,500.
“I just started bawling my eyes out,” O’Neil said. “My boyfriend started crying. We just kept saying this is unbelievable, unbelievable.”
The municipality has a plan in place to help mitigate flood waters along some sections of the Wash Brook, but where O’Neil lives on the lower end. The city says there's not much they can do.
“The watershed will continue to flood and unfortunately they are in the most susceptible area for flooding,” said CBRM waste water manager Matt Viva. “Which means they will have to pay closer attention to precipitation events.”
It’s a frustrating answer for O’Neil and her family.
“Who needs them when you have community like this,” O’Neil said. “I'm just biting my tongue.”
For now O’Neil is focusing on the positive and enjoying a warm home again.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald and Kyle Moore.