HOUSTON - Sunday morning revealed the extent of the damage from overnight flash floods in southwest Houston where the debris included waterlogged carpets, ruined cars and a drowned possum that entered Diem Jones’ house through a backed-up sewer.
“I would imagine it came up through the sewer line,” Jones said after giving us a tour of the home he rents at the corner of Mullins and Ludington.
He used his cell phone to record video at the height of the flood. At the entrance to his cul-de-sac, the water was at least knee deep and 8 inches deep inside his house.
“I’m relatively new to Houston so this is quite a surprise to me.”
The flood was another unwelcome surprise to his neighbor Melanie McDowell, who lives across the street. She had 6 inches of water in her house this time. Her house also flooded during a storm in January 2012. The damage that time totaled $12,000. Sunday morning work crews were already tearing out her carpet and padding and removing the first 12 inches of drywall…again.
“And then all of the sudden it started to hail, and it was just a deluge of water,” said McDowell. “And it was just like a hurricane. It was flowing through here like a river and the wind was pushing it.”
But McDowell and other neighbors said that even during a hurricane their Westbury neighborhood has never flooded this bad.
“I’ve only been here seven years and it’s been dicey all the time, every time it rains,” said McDowell. “The sewage system doesn’t work. They put in that huge retention pond over that that’s supposed to take care of this and it does nothing.”
Her new next door neighbors discovered the neighborhood’s flooding problems in an even more painful fashion.
The family had moved to Houston from Florida in just the past few weeks. Most of their belongings were still in boxes, unpacked in their garage. They spent Sunday salvaging as much as they could by laying it out to dry in their driveway.
An official count of the number of homes and vehicles damaged Saturday night was not available as of Sunday, but dozens of homeowners in the Chimney Rock – Belfort corner of Westbury were busy Sunday piling up ruined carpets and other flood debris at the curb.