Flooded-out Houston families will need to make change before rebuilding

Thursday, June 11, 2015
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Some residents are being told they need to raise their homes up before rebuilding

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- More than 800 families received letters from the city of Houston telling them that if they have damage costing more than half the value of their homes, they will need to raise their homes before they rebuild.

David Epstein lives in the Willow Meadows neighborhood. He received that letter.

"There are so many questions," Epstein said, "We have flood insurance, which was good. We've been visited by the agent. We don't know yet from them because they said it takes time, and I get that, which is why we went ahead and locked in a rental because we have no idea where we're gonna be in a year."

Harvey Klein still marvels at how contractors raised his home after Tropical Storm Allison flooded it for the fourth time. He, too, lives in Willow Meadows.

"They drill down with a pier, prep a platform and then put jacks -- it was like 90 holes -- put a jack on each hole underneath the load-bearing walls and just jack it up an inch at a time," Klein said.

Neighborhoods like Willow Meadows are a part of what's called a 100 Year Flood Plain. In order to be registered with FEMA, the city of Houston must implement flood plain rules. According to the Houston Flood Plain Management Office, the

city was obligated to send out these letters to hundreds of residents.

For residents who need help understanding their letter and examining their options, they can call the Flood Plain Management Office at (832) 394-8854.