Bridge family in Taree lost everything they own and are virtually homeless after NSW floods

A family lost almost everything they owned when their home was destroyed by floodwaters amid the once-in-century storm event that ravaged Australia’s east.

Relentless rain battering the NSW coast for nearly a week finally eased on Wednesday, but the state is still in the grip of a crisis with swollen rivers still rising and floodwaters showing little sign of receding. 

By the time the Bridge family realised their house in Taree on the state’s Mid North Coast had began to flood on Saturday morning, the water rose so fast they had no time to save their belongings.  

The entire house and one of their cars were destroyed within hours and the-family-of-six, including a seven-month-old baby, were left homeless. 

Family lost almost everything when their new house was destroyed by floodwater (pictured)

Water had risen so high by the time the family woke, they could not save their belongings

Water had risen so high by the time the family woke, they could not save their belongings

Dennis Bridge – who rents the property to his daughter Nikole – had come to check the drains at 7am on Saturday, only to realise the home would soon be inundated. 

By the time he had woken the sleeping family, the floodwater had already hit the verandah and they were only able to salvage a few clothes and baby toys. 

The family lost almost everything they own including a car, beds, a cot and crib, lounges, electronics, clothes and food, and the water badly damaged the property. 

Within hours, the entire house and car had been virtually destroyed by floodwaters (pictured)

Within hours, the entire house and car had been virtually destroyed by floodwaters (pictured)

The family of six, including a seven-month-old, were left without a home to live in

The family of six, including a seven-month-old, were left without a home to live in 

The homeowner came to check the property at 7am on Saturday, to see floodwaters rising

The homeowner came to check the property at 7am on Saturday, to see floodwaters rising

Two cars were saved.  

‘Everything is just completely swollen inside the house,’ said Nikole’s daughter Taylah, who did not live at the residence. 

Photos show children’s toys, utensils, clothes and food drifting through the home, which has now been drained as the family start to repair the damage. 

By the time the family had woken up, it was too late to save most of their belongings

 By the time the family had woken up, it was too late to save most of their belongings 

The family lost almost everything they own, including their lounge (pictured) and electronics

The family lost almost everything they own, including their lounge (pictured) and electronics 

The Bridge family (pictured) have started a Go Fund Me page to try and get life back on track

The Bridge family (pictured) have started a Go Fund Me page to try and get life back on track

Nikole Bridge lived in the house with her partner Shane, her 16-year-old son Kaleb, 19-year-old son Logan, Logan’s girlfriend Hayley and their 7-month-old child Ava. 

Most of the family are staying with Dennis, but Nikole and Shane are couch-surfing and unable to find permanent accommodation.   

‘She’s here, there and everywhere, but she’s got nothing stable,’ Taylah said about her mum. 

The house, including the toilet, were damaged by the devastating flood

The house, including the toilet, were damaged by the devastating flood

As the house is in central Taree, the family said they did not expect to be impacted by floods

As the house is in central Taree, the family said they did not expect to be impacted by floods 

‘She is just working it out day by day.’ 

The house was bought seven months ago, and Taylah said they do not have flood insurance. 

‘They’ve lost completely everything inside from the clothes, food, lounges,’ she said.

‘We’re in the middle of basically pulling absolutely everything apart and ripping all the carpet up, just start completely fresh again … since everything’s all water damage and smells bad.’ 

The family have started a GoFundMe page to help rebuild their lives.

If anyone in the Taree region can assist the family with accommodation, please email [email protected]  

Parents Nikole and Shane are now homeless because of the flooding

Parents Nikole and Shane are now homeless because of the flooding 

The bathroom was flooded (pictured)

Mattresses were ruined (pictured)

The bathroom (left) and bedrooms, including mattresses, were badly damaged  by the water 

The family - who said they did not have flood insurance - are trying to rebuild

The family – who said they did not have flood insurance – are trying to rebuild