VIDEO: Langley woman without a home after houseboat sinks during snowy weather

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the Grant’s Landing resident replace her possessions

Grants Landing, a quiet and somewhat hidden community on the edge of the Fraser River in Langley, is made up of dozens of houseboats and floating homes – just west of Derby Reach.

Vanessa Valentine was readying to celebrate four years of residing there, when the recent stretch of cold, snowy weather left her without a home.

“The river can be a rough place in the winter,” Valentine assured. “Beautiful in the summer, but just brutal in the winter”

Valentine said she sold her Maple Ridge home and bought the house boat after seeing a television program that boasted tiny homes and living within smaller means.

“I always dreamed of living on the river and have this tiny home fascination. When I saw this woman looking for something under $150,000 on this TV show and they showed houseboats, I thought ‘that’s it’,” Valentine explained.

She called the houseboat lifestyle “not very glamorous,” but said the small, two-level dwelling on the water gave her exactly the kind of life she wanted to live.

On Jan. 13th, she said the pipes froze up on her, which wasn’t an uncommon occurrence; by Jan. 15th, the houseboat starting listing to one side.

“I was inside when the cabinets flew open and I went out to go clear the snow,” Valentine recounted. “There was water in the hull that I should have pumped out earlier, but by then, it was too late.”

The weight of the water and snow caused the boat to submerge into the Fraser, partly listing against the dock.

Valentine said the houseboat sat in that position until the next morning, when she was able to “rally the troops” and attempt to salvage whatever possible.

READ MORE: Burnaby couple’s belongings, vehicle stolen from Walnut Grove Community Centre

“We worked for hours trying to raise it up and pump out the water to save whatever we could,” Valentine recalled. “The bedroom was okay so a lot of my clothes made it out and some personal items; that was with about 18 hours worth of work.”

Harsh weather and an unstable balance cause the boat to sink back into the water within minutes, causing Valentine and the crew to be “right back to square one.”

“A lot of my belongings were soaked – a painting I had inherited from my dad,” Valentine said. “Know one knows the plan right now. There’s the possibility of getting it towed out, but who knows who expensive that will be?”

As of now, Valentine is staying in another houseboat, since the owner left for holidays until the end of the month.

After their return, she plans to stay at her brother’s home in Maple Ridge.

”I have places to stay,” Valentine said. “But I hate asking for help. I’m not used to it – I’ve always been the giver. Neighbours have been coming with donations of clothing, furniture, and money – people here are so amazing”

In the long term, Valentine said she is unsure if she’ll ever be able to call Grant’s Landing home again.

“I would love to – in my wildest dreams – build a tiny floating home,” she said. “I’m hating the idea that I’ll have to leave this marina and not come back.”

Despite the complete displacement, Valentine said she’s keeping a positive outlook on everything, hoping in the meantime to celebrate her 57th birthday which happened on the day her home began to sink.

“You have to stay positive; there’s a silver lining to everything and everything happens for a reason,” Valentine stressed. “It is a freeing feeling in a way.”

A Go Fund Me account has been set up by Valentine’s family to help her replace some of the possessions she lost.

People can visit www.gofundme.com if they wish to donate.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta playgrounds, basketball hoops, reopening June 1

Skate and bike parks in the city were reopened last week

Emergency funding available for Delta non-profits

Delta Foundation accepting applications for up to $75K through Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund

Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension faces potential delays due to COVID-19

Pandemic ‘adversely’ impacting TransLink’s finances; ‘much work’ required to approve next investment plan

Cloverdale businessman funds wells in Cambodia

Revive Washing in Clayton Heights donates three per cent of profits to charity

Cloverdale youth pastor’s sexual-assault sentencing delayed

Samuel Emerson due to return to Surrey Provincial Court in August

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Importance of accurate, ethical reporting more critical than ever

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Chilliwack teachers, assistants concerned with lack of PPE guidelines ahead of school reopening

As schools get ready to open, many worry measures won’t be enough to protect students from COVID-19

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

Most Read