Elderly Couple Loses Home After Basement Wall Collapses
Campbell Co., VA - An Campbell County elderly couple is homeless after their basement collapsed Thursday night.
An entire side of the home has nothing holding it up. The weight of the saturated dirt pushed the wall right onto the basement floor.
At around 7:30 p.m., Gerald and Sandra Hughes had just gone to bed.
"I heard a tremendous crash," said Sandra Coffey Hughes.
Sandra thought all the dishes had fallen out of the cabinet.
"It was like a nightmare. Like you woke up from a nightmare," she said.
From the outside of the home, it still looks livable. But inside...
"You can see over here. Where it just completely gave away," said their son Kevin Hughes, pointing to the damage.
Plants from the garden are still alive and well, but everything inside was ruined.
"If I would've been in the basement it would have killed me," said Sandra.
The next challenge will be paying for the repair. According to their insurance, water damage and or earth movement are not covered.
"There are no flood water or river running through here. The wall gave way and they're homeless and now there's going to be a process of, we don't know what we're going to do. It's just very concerning that this is the way they are being treated," said Kevin.
Campbell County inspector Ronnie Guthrie deemed it structure failure.
The county requires the use of 12 inch cinderblock, but the house only had 8 inch blocks. But Guthrie says that's not their fault. The home was built before a cinderblock code even existed.
Now, after 50 years of paying for insurance, they may lose their home.
"It is demoralizing and I feel like we have been robbed. Our whole house has been ruined," said Sandra.
The Hughes are now staying with a friend just up the street. Both are in their 70's and have medical issues and don't know what to do next.
If you're interested in helping the family, you can contact Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org.