Home wiped out by landslide with man and dog inside: 'Lost everything'

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A man is lucky to be alive after being trapped inside his northern NSW home as it got swept away in a landslide last week, leaving him with nothing.

The Mullumbimby area in northern NSW has been devastated by catastrophic floods and landslides that followed as a result of the relentless rain hammering the east coast.

Jens Forrest said he was trying to calm his pet dog who'd become "distressed" during a blackout when he heard what he thought was "the loudest clap of thunder I'd ever heard."

Jens Forrest, who lived in Upper Wilsons Creek, is left with nothing after his home was swept away in a landslide. Source: ABC
Jens Forrest, who lived in Upper Wilsons Creek, is left with nothing after his home was swept away in a landslide. Source: ABC

Seconds later, Mr Forrest remembers being "thrown against the wall" as the earth beneath his home in Upper Wilsons Creek gave way sending it crashing towards the river below.

"No amount of preparation could prepare you for what happened," Mr Forrest told the ABC.

"Basically everything I have now has been... I've lost everything.

"Everything that I have [now] has been, donated to me."

Unbelievably, Mr Forrest managed to "scramble out through the back window" which was free from debris, escaping only with "scrapes and bruises" and covered in leeches. His dog, sadly, did not survive the ordeal.

"I could hear her barking. She was basically trapped in a little pocket. I went back in the next day to try and free her. We did successfully free her from the debris, but she had sustained some internal injuries," he said.

The house pictured collapsed into the creek after the landslide near Mullumbimby. Source: ABC
The house fell some 50 metres towards a creek at the bottom of the hill. Source: ABC

Heartbreaking footage of Mr Forrest's land shows the gravity of the disaster, with his two-storey home once perched high above the creek, now in pieces some 50 meters below — caught up in fallen trees and debris.

In the aftermath of the devastating weather event, local communities have banded together to help and support those who have lost their homes and everything in it.

"The response from the community has been amazing," Mr Forrest said.

The house was situated on a clifftop and Jens had lived there for four years. Source: ABC
The house was situated on a clifftop and Mr Forrest had lived there for four years. Source: ABC

"I've just sort of been putting one foot in front of the other and leaning back into the love and support of the community. It's an amazing community, there's a great depth of compassion and generosity here."

Mr Forrest explained the affected area around his property is 150m wide. Rebuilding his home would be a difficult task, he said.

Damaging winds threatening to devastate NSW coastline

Although the torrential rain that has battered the east coast for almost two weeks has eased, flooding and landslides continue in some parts of NSW where there have been more than 60 evacuation orders.

On Tuesday, another family in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in Sydney were forced to flee their home after a landslide suddenly swallowed part of their driveway, forcing them to be immediately evacuated.

Jens Forrest was in the house when the earth below it gave way sending him crashing towards the river below. Source: ABC
Jens Forrest was in the house when the earth below it gave way sending him crashing towards the river below. Source: ABC

As rainfall is easing, a new threat has emerged with damaging winds threatening to topple trees and down powerlines.

The Bureau of Meteorology said parts of NSW has seen 400mm of rain over the past week, and with damaging winds in areas where soils are drenched, it's likely trees will fall further impacted roads.

Coastal erosion is also likely for southerly facing beaches on the South Coast, in Illawarra and in Sydney’s metropolitan area

Thousands lose power

This comes after about 4500 homes and businesses lost power in Shoalhaven, the Illawarra and Southern Highlands on Tuesday afternoon as storms downed trees and powerlines.

Endeavour Energy said about 1700 homes and businesses near flooding rivers in western Sydney were also without power on Tuesday night, and a further 300 were expected to lose power overnight.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting