Michael destroys historic home

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - One family spent two years renovating a historic house and lived in it for another two. But because of Hurricane Michael, that house is now ruined. It's on Brethren Road off of 220 South.

Gustaf Sylvester-Johnson's wife was upstairs when she heard a loud noise and was suddenly trapped.

"She goes, 'no, no, don't hang up, it's in the house, i can't get out,' and I say, 'okay, go upstairs, call 911, it'll be okay,'" Sylvester-Johnson said.

Rain from Hurricane Michael poured through the house, filling the first floor with up to four feet of water. The water has since receded and the wife escaped but the mud line is still drawn across the walls.

Sylvester-Johnson says there are a number of possible reasons for why water got into the house.

"There was a landslide when 220 collapsed, there was a water main that broke, a 12 inch line that broke just north of the house along the riverbed, there was lots of rain over the last 6 weeks."

The storm left damages inside and outside of the house.

Sylvester-Johnson said, "The water literally moved this granite counter top and island that way three feet."

Joy Sylvester-Johnson, Gustaf's mother, said, "I was heartbroken, realizing that my son and his wife had spent two years renovating the house, bringing it back to its original condition to make it their forever home and then to see it in a matter of minutes just be washed away."

The stream was so powerful that it had carried a large boulder from upstream to his yard. The water tore apart the garage, and the water is still flowing through the house's foundation.

Sylvester-Johnson said, "This could very well be what happens to the house in the next 6 months if we don't make some serious changes," as he pointed to his torn up garage.

But despite all the damages and having no flood insurance, Sylvester-Johnson still has hope.

"I don't know where we're going to live, I don't know how we're going to pay our loans, I don't know how this is going to affect my kids going to college or as they move forward, but I have faith that it will be okay and if anything, this last weekend has really showed me that Roanokers care about each other."

He is living with his family in his mom's two bedroom house in Boones Mill, while he waits to see how his insurance will help.