Looking across the ruins of his wife’s bedroom, 48 hours of fear finally spilled over for Steve Wiseman. Like hundreds of others living in Kalbarri, he was yesterday flooded with emotion as two days of adrenaline dried up – replaced by the crushing weight of shock, hopelessness and loss. Tears stained the 72-year-old’s cheeks as he peered down at the bed belonging to his wife Julie, who suffers from dementia and who was moved to a professional care facility in Geraldton just days before Seroja hit. “This is where she would’ve been sleeping,” Mr Wiseman said, gesturing towards the queen-size mattress now hidden beneath a mountain of rubble. Above, a bent ceiling fan teetered from the small part of celing that remained. “She was fortunate, I managed to get her into care,” he said. “She would’ve died, this would’ve killed her.” Unable to escape the irony that what had broken his heart just last week, was now the reason his ailing wife was still alive, Mr Wiseman broke into tears. Doubling over, he crumbled before us. “This is all I’ve got now,” he said, clutching a black-and-white picture of his wife which had survived the cyclone’s fury and a single jumper. Until last night, he had been unable to make contact with Julie, 71. “I’ve had no way to reach her. There’s been no service, and the roads are closed,” he said. “It’s been tough.” Mr Wiseman returned to his decimated beach-front home early yesterday morning after spending the night at his glass and aluminium factory in the town’s light-industrial area. “I was hiding in the kitchen, I was lighting a candle and then everything just came straight in,” he said of Sunday’s category three event. “There was this eerie humming and buzzing noise, the whole counter top was vibrating, next second everything gone. “I ducked, and then I looked up and the side walls exploded outwards, then I ran off to the bedroom and the next thing I turned around the roof disappeared from above me.” Dubbed his “bunker”, Mr Wiseman said he had had to hang onto the door of his study for a couple of hours while the cyclone ravaged Kalbarri. “I hid in there for the rest of the night. When it was over my neighbour called and I just said, ‘I don’t have a house’,” he said. While his kitchen has been ripped open, exposing his counter tops, pantry and fridge to anyone walking by, Mr Wiseman’s wife’s collection of perfumes is still intact in her old bedroom. “It’s incredible, the bits and pieces that survive, and everything else that doesn’t,” he said of Julie’s Chanel No. 5. “I was going to clean up today but I don’t think I will just yet. It’s too raw.” He expects it will take at least three years to rebuild the decimated property.