Homes under water in Santa Fe after Tax Day brings heavy rains

Unbelievably, Tax Day for some in the Houston area is once again filled with flooding.  Last year, it was the Meyerland area.  Now residents in Santa Fe are left looking for a dry place to stay, and for a lot of the folks because this isn’t a flood zone they don’t have flood insurance.

"The water started coming in and it was less than an hour before our house was engulfed,” explains Billy Powell who now has a bathroom scale floating in his breakfast area right by his kitchen table and a pet cat trapped on top of a submerged dog house.  Flooding can bring some strange things especially when that flood water is inside your home.

"We could see the water flowing north to south and it built up over 14 inches inside our front storm door.  We actually evacuated out a back window of the house.  I got my wife out, got my two dogs out,” Powell adds and Smokie, an outdoor cat that Powell found on top of a barbecue grill after Hurricane Ike has survived too.
Here in Santa Fe a number of residents woke up to Tuesday morning flooding, which is more like an uninvited, dreadfully destructive intruder.  "We had about five to eight inches.  So it’s not livable,” says Heather O'Brien. 

"We lost everything.  We had a big home office here that’s under water.  All of our heavy equipment out back is lost,” explains Powell.  Because homes haven’t flooded here in recent memory no one thought this would happen.

"Emotions are all over the place.  It’s a lot to take in.  Especially when you wake up to it,” adds O'Brien.  American Red Cross volunteers arrived quickly to help.  They may not be able to give the one thing these folks want most, to simply go home, but they are giving food, clothing and temporary housing vouchers.

"I’m so grateful. I really want a hot shower,” says O’Brien.  Neither the O’Briens nor the Powells have flood insurance.  "Unfortunately my wife’s retired.  I’m self-employed and we’re just going to have to pray our way through it and probably it’s going to financially bankrupt us for a while.  It’s a shame to pay all these years and the one thing you don’t have is flood insurance and that’s what wipes you out,” says Powell.