Remodel, rebuild, or move out? That’s a decision many flood victims are facing. And you don’t have to look far to find places where all three have happened.
“What can’t be replaced is my family,” said Rachel Burgan in Meyerland.
She grew up in a home on Grennoch Street and is now raising her family there.
Harvey’s rising waters inundated the home’s interior just like Allison did 16 years ago.
Only this was much, much worse.
“I haven’t cried,” said Burgan. “Because, if I cry, it’s going to be awhile, so I’m trying to keep it together.”
Homes around the Burgans have been replaced over the years with stricter flood control standards in mind.
For instance, the first floor of a new home right across the street is 12 inches above what’s called the “base flood elevation.”
There are rules for new homes and not necessarily remodels.
“We don’t have the financial means to rebuild, so we’re going to remodel the best we can,” said David Burgan. “And hope when they say it’s an 800 year flood that it’s an 800 year and we won’t be around for that again.”
The piles of debris higher than those left by the last flood may be enough to make many families leave Houston or seek a home on higher ground.
The Burgans say neither is a consideration for them, at least for now.
“The most important thing is making sure it’s safe for us to come back,” said Rachel Burgan. “Because this is our home, it’s not just a house.”
Many families are in contact with FEMA to see if they qualify for improvements such as elevating their homes.