Downhill: Rose Hendrickson Warren stands in the backyard of her Marsh Folly Road home. A pile of debris lies against her house from the February 14 landslide. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Downhill: Rose Hendrickson Warren stands in the backyard of her Marsh Folly Road home. A pile of debris lies against her house from the February 14 landslide. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

There is a pile of debris where the backyard used to be.

There are pipes, bottles, brush, chunks of a retaining wall, pieces of shingle, a metal ladder, a tree trunk and roots. And, of course, dirt. Dirt is everywhere.

A Valentine’s Day landslide caused all the damage to 19 Marsh Folly Road. Now, Rose Hendrickson Warren is asking what happens next.

“None of that rubble is mine,” she says.

The home — a yellow, one-storey building with a  traditional Bermudian roof — has been in her family for 90 years, she says. Now, thanks to the storms this month, the bathroom leaks. The landslide damaged part of the rear exterior of the home and forced a water pump to be moved and pipes to be rerouted so the home would have running water again.

Her daughter and grandson live at the abode, which is located in an area of Pembroke that was hard-hit by the storm. Crews are working on the road in front of the home; the storms eroded the banking next to the road and now half of the road is closed to through traffic. Not far away, a home on Perimeter Lane is uninhabitable thanks to the storms earlier this month.

“You’re wondering, is my house going to be safe?” said Ms Hendrickson Warren, who lives in Paget.

Ms Hendrickson Warren, a 60-year-old who recently was treated for colon cancer and previously worked in an administrative role for a restaurant and bar, does not know if the government is going to clean up the yard or replace the retaining wall. She does not know what the cost of the property damage from the landslide will be. She does not know if the government will pay for repairs.

Atop of the incline — from where everything came sliding down during the storm — there is a dead end road and homes, she says. The road is located mere feet away from where the landslide occurred. That makes her nervous. What happens if there’s another storm and more erosion? The road could be swept away, down atop the mess that was her backyard.

Government crews came shortly after the storm and hauled away five truckloads of debris and cut down some trees that were still precariously rooted to the upper part of the steep backyard embankment. However, she has not seen the crews in days. Everyone living on that stretch of road should be concerned about erosion and landslides, she said.

“Someone needs to do something,” she said.

For now, she watches a remaining tree  that wasn’t swept away in the landslide sway in the wind. She, along with her brother, Ernest Hendrickson, who is a handyman by trade, listen to trees groan and creak on the steep incline as the rain lashes down. The sounds are ominous.

“I don’t like this. You see where the stress is? I don’t like this. Not at all, ” says Ernest.

Later, he sums up the situation:

“Why was it called Marsh Folly? Because it was a folly to build there. That really encapsulates the whole thing.”

A Government spokeswoman told us last night: “Root growth from vegetation caused sections of a rock face to fail and in the process it was not able to support a large casuarina tree, which came down in the yard. 

“On Sunday 16th February, one of the highways crew of the Ministry of Public Works removed the fallen vegetation and, went further, to clear another tree that was likely to fall. 

 “All the rock and debris that Ministry of Public Works highway crew had intended to remove, has now been removed.”