Thursday, March 30, 2017

Volunteers Save Senior Citizen's Home from Collapse

Storm driven creek during one of California's recent rains

Editor's Note: California's creeks and rivers have taken their toll over the winter. This story featured on local news, KSBY, is about a home on a creek that was deemed unsafe because of damage by the creek it is near. Click the above link for the video.

Creek erosion forced a man and woman from their Atascadero home in February. Now that home, once red-tagged and deemed unfit to live in, has been saved by the Atascadero community.

Seventy-year-old John Shaydak and 86-year old Erna Shaydak have lived in their house on Ensenada Avenue since the 1970s.

Heavy storms this winter caused erosion, putting the home at risk of falling into the creek behind it, but volunteer contractors and numerous other Atascadero residents have been working hard for nearly two months to save it.

"When this hillside first came down, it had undercut the concrete here at the shed and it dropped down 75-feet to the water. This was all gone, every bit of it," described John Shaydak.

Members of the community pulled together to fix the hillside, digging, pumping, and working for free. The volunteers chalk it up to being good neighbors.

"Why'd we do it for free? Because it's the right thing to do," said Leonard Sutherland, Vice President of Michael Frederick Paving Corp.

The Shaydak's have been living in a motel for nearly two months. On Monday, the house was deemed safe.

"Last night, we sat and watched the sun go down realizing we got our home back," Shaydak said tearing up with joy.

"We've got a lot of people who donated, a lot of help from other construction companies. Over 20 people, various companies stepped up to the plate asking what can we do, what can we do?" said Sutherland.

"I got these cards here so I wouldn't forget anybody," said Shaydak as he tried to thank everyone who had done so much for him.

The list of helping hands goes on and on.

"They treated us like we were family. The people of Atascadero are fantastic," said Shaydak.

The Shaydaks hope to move in early next week once the home has been cleaned out.

There are a few minor projects still to be finished up in the next week, such as fixing the fence around the property.

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