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Wall collapses on home

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Today marks two weeks since Donna Simmons was woken up by two sharp crashing sounds as a mass of rock toppled behind her family home on St Monica's Road.

Her Pembroke home is still hemmed in at its western boundary by a “landslide” that buried the utilities and piled concrete blocks against her back windows.

“I feel like I'm up the creek without a paddle,” Ms Simmons said last night, as more heavy rains brought the worry of further collapses.

She added: “Thanks be to God that no lives were lost.”

Ms Simmons is a caregiver and her jobs include looking after her 89-year-old father, Bernet, who stays in the other bedroom.

Since the rockfall, tenants have moved out from the property next door and the owner, who lives in the Dominican Republic, has proved difficult to reach this week.

Ms Simmons, who already has loans to pay, said she could not afford the option that most people recommend: call a lawyer.

“Why should I have to pay a lawyer to get my property fixed?” she said.

“I have insurance, but it's not guaranteed that they will cover it. It depends on whether the structure was built right.”

Michael Weeks, the area MP, visited to offer sympathies, but Ms Simmons said she would need to act soon and does not know what to do.

She said: “We still have gas. I've got electricity. My phone can call out, but people who call in just get static. What do I do if my gas runs out tomorrow?”

Ms Simmons replayed messages from the owner of the next-door property, who said he would “try to do everything I can” to come back and help, but has yet to be seen.

Meanwhile, the Department of Planning advised that “they don't get into disputes”, she said.

“They said I could file something about it, but they can't make people do anything.”

She added: “I know it's not the Government's fault.”

However, even taking on the debris herself could be risky, Ms Simmons said: “I can't ask anyone to move anything in case I become liable.”

Ms Simmons contacted The Royal Gazette in an appeal to the community for advice, saying she works full time and feels “at a loss”.

Know how to help? E-mail sunnyred2@icloud com.

A cascade of rocks has buried utilities behind the Simmons family's residence at St Monica's Road (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)
Landslide: debris after a wall collapsed onto the back of a Pembroke home - leaving its residents unsure where to turn next (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

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Published March 01, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated March 01, 2019 at 12:03 am)

Wall collapses on home

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