Meyerland home raised ahead of Hurricane Harvey

MEYERLAND, Texas – With Hurricane Harvey on the way, Meyerland residents who wanted their homes lifted felt they were racing against time.

For the Shefmans, their Heatherglen home was not supposed to be raised until next week.

“Tuesday, I actually wrote on Facebook and to Arkitektura I am really stressed,” Drew Shefman said.

Shefman was on edge because his home flooded both Memorial day 2015 and Tax Day 2016. He and his wife, Pam, remodeled each time. Now Harvey threatens to wreak havoc for them again.

“We were like, ‘Oh now what are we going to do?’” Pam Shefman said.

VIDEO: Preparing your home for possible floods

The cry for help was answered by their lifting company, Arkitektura.  The owner turned a crew around from a job in Austin.

“I said pack up and head back and they were like, 'We just got here' and I was like, 'Come on,'” Philipp Contrera, of Arkitektura, said.

The Shefmans' lift began Wednesday and ended Thursday at nearly 5 feet.

“It's pretty amazing watching it lifting out of the ground,” Pam Shefman said.  “It's like watching a cork pop right out of the ground and then it keeps lifting.”

Just a few streets over on Cadman, Frank Inselbuch’s home will not be lifted soon enough. 

Inselbuch was awarded a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to lift his home. He is the first to break ground.  But Harvey is not cooperating.

“There were several delays due to bureaucracy and paper work and the government regulations etc. that pushed this back,” Inselbuch said. “Two to three weeks would have made all the difference in the world.”

If Inselbuch's home floods, more work awaits than just lifting his home up 5 feet.

After Harvey, the Shefmans' lift will continue to 10 feet, which is an unusual but useful choice.

“We are practical people,” Drew Shefman said. “It gives us a three-car garage, outside kitchen and play space for the kids.”

With each inch, the Shefmans' stress lifts too.

“I slept better than I slept in two years,” Drew Shefman said. “You can feel it draining away. It's just an amazing feeling.”

For Inselbuch, the oncoming storm only brings more stress.

“It's going to be our third flood in three years,” Inselbuch said. "I'm not sure how we are going to get through this one.”