Expert urges Houston residents to buy flood insurance now for Hurricane season

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It has been six years since the 2016 Tax Day Flood in Houston that damaged thousands of homes and claimed several lives.

On April 17 and 18, almost 24 inches of rain fell in and around the Houston area.

SEE HERE: Compelling images and your stories from 2016's historic Tax Day flooding

Meyerland resident Dr. David Silberman remembers those two days all too vividly.

"They talk about it when a ship sinks, it goes through these death groans, and we experienced something similar," Dr. Silberman said. "Not that the house was dying, but you hear the clanging of pots and pans and other items wherever water was giving them buoyancy."

Dr. Silberman and his wife got about two feet of water in their home that resides near Brays Bayou. They were able to save some of their possessions but many were lost.

"It made no difference if you opened the door or not," Dr. Silberman remembered of that night. "Water was the equal distance from inside the house to the outside of the house."

The couple made the decision to tear down their home that was flooded and rebuilt a home that is lifted more than 5 feet.

RELATED: RAINED OUT: Looking back at holidays that ended with flooding in Houston

Since then, he said his Meyerland neighborhood has not been the same. While interviewing with ABC13, he pointed at a home that was being raised, an empty lot where a home was torn down, and a home that has sat empty since Hurricane Harvey.

Nearby, there is a business that has had its fair share of floods, Three Brothers Bakery. The owner, Robert Jucker, said the Tax Day flood was the second of three times. The first time was the Memorial Day flood just a year earlier.

"Parts of it were gutted," Jucker said. "They were getting ready to do reconstruction on some items that needed to get fixed and rebuilt. We re-did that and we got hit by Harvey the next year."

Jucker said they were planning to expand their business when they got hit so many times by floodwaters, but those plans were put on hold.

"It's refreshing because we feel like we are getting to that point where we were in 2014 where we were growing, we were creating jobs, we were helping the community. We were expanding," Jucker said.

RELATED: Remembering the Tax Day flood of 2016

Both Jucker and Dr. Silberman are hopeful that the work on Brays Bayou will ease their nerves during future rain events.

Harris County Flood Control is working on a massive project that will widen Brays Bayou by 21 miles.

A client is confident that it will lower our flooding springs by 18 inches should similar storms reoccur in the future," Dr. Silberman said. "We are very hopeful that all these changes will prove effective."

Andrea Kawaja, the owner of Afloat Insurance Agency, suggests that residents of Houston should buy flood insurance, even if they have not flooded before. She said 50% of claims come from people that live in low-risk zones.

"People always think they should only buy flood insurance when hurricane season starts," Kawaja said. "We've seen historically that some of our biggest floods happen outside of hurricane season."

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