Trevor Fox was born and raised in his Westport home and has never lived anywhere else.
But after the weekend's record-breaking flood he may never be able to live there again.
When the Buller District town started to flood on Friday, Fox and his family got busy moving their possessions to the highest surfaces in the house.
They've seen floods in the town before so knew what to do - but had no idea how bad it was about to get.
Filthy floodwater flowed through the Menzies St home until it was at least a metre high.
It came up so high it completely covered the beds.
"It's contaminated water too which is the worst thing," said Fox's daughter Brianna.
"It's been sitting for two days, it's had nowhere to go because the drains are blocked."
The family returned to the home today for their first look at the damage.
"It's a bit devastating," said Brianna Fox.
"This is my dad's family home, he has not moved house in 60 years, he was born in this house.
"He's devastated about what's going to happen to his home - it's a bit of a tough time."
More bad weather is on the way for the area so the Fox family's battle may be ongoing.
This morning MetService issued a heavy rain warning for the region.
"While this wouldn't normally be enough to trigger a watch, given the recent rainfall it is pertinent," the agency said.
Meanwhile it was all hands on deck at Menzies St.
The Fox family were trying to salvage what they could - slogging through the water still stagnating in their home amid floating food and debris.
"The fridge got flipped over on its side so the food all came out of it," Brianna Fox told the Herald.
"We tried to save as much as possible, we did have time to put our clothes and personal belongings up on top of things.
"The water didn't get to that point luckily."
The house has had a rapid assessment and was safe to enter but is entirely contaminated by the floodwater.
Brianna Fox said the next step was a council assessment which would be more intensive.
The house could then be red stickered, meaning it was inhabitable.
"At the moment we're just pulling everything out," she said.
"We have floods, we live in a flood zone - but nothing like this, no one can remember the water being up to our windowsills.
"It's definitely not ideal at all."
The assessment of houses in Westport is ongoing but many residents were able to get back to their properties yesterday.
Most are staying with family or friends or at alternative accommodation as they start the biggest clean up of their lives.
Council and insurance company staff will work through each property to ascertain whether it can be lived in and what work needs to be done to make it safe for residents to return.
Many of the homes are owned by Kainga Ora who are working hard to help occupants.
"Our customers are our focus," said Kāinga Ora regional director Julia Campbell.
"We have teams in or travelling to Westport to provide immediate support to them and assess the impact of the flooding.
"This will help us determine the extent of the damage to the Kāinga Ora homes in Westport."
Campbell said welfare centres have provided emergency accommodation so far.
"And we will work with our customers to find ongoing housing options that best meet their needs.
"We will continue to work with local agencies and MSD to provide continued support to the community.
"Kāinga Ora maintenance partners will also be visiting our homes in the area to assess the damage and work that needs to be done."