Happiness after the storm
LIFE is bright for the Sodeau family.
They are living in their newly renovated home and their four children are happy and healthy.
But this time last year things were looking anything but bright.
Caught up in the 2004 October storms that wreaked havoc across the Coffs Coast, the family were left homeless after a huge eucalypt tree fell on their Emerald Beach home.
The tree broke the roof, ripping off the veranda, sending roof beams, insulation and the ceiling crashing into their living room, and tilting the two-storey brick and timber home on its foundations.
The impact split the family's dining room table in half and buried the children's toys under the wreckage.
If this wasn't enough to deal with, the Sodeaus then had trouble finding a builder to help them repair the damage.
Enter an early present from Santa Claus in the form of Boambee builder, Marc Roet of Seren Building, and things started getting back on track.
"Marc and Seren Building were great, working right through Christmas and the new year," Troy Sodeau said.
"The house took five-and-a-half months to rebuild, so we were back in mid-March."
It turned out just in time, Troy's wife, Fiona, giving birth to their fourth child, Genevieve, on April 13.
"It was very good timing. It took a little while longer because while the house was in such a mess we took the opportunity to do the renovations and extensions we had been planning but never found the right time to begin," Mr Sodeau said.
"So now we live in a beautiful five-bedroom home."
And with the storm season again upon us, are they worried something similar may happen.
"The neighbour has removed a dangerous looking tree and the State Forest behind us has been cleared so I think we are out of the danger zone," Mr Sodeau said.