1 year after Hurricane Harvey, Bellaire and Meyerland homes elevated to prevent future flooding

HOUSTON – Parts of Bellaire and Meyerland look like beachfront property with homes now high off the ground.

One year ago, Mark Laviage’s stepson rowed a canoe to rescue Laviage and his wife from their home. Now Laviage will rescue his home from the next flood.  

"You can see right here how high it got,” Laviage said.

He said his home flooded twice in the five years that he has lived here. Now he will lift his home up 5 feet.

"It means the world to me and my wife. We want a place where we don't have to worry about whether it's raining or not. We want to come home to our house and just not think about a disaster like a flood," Laviage said.

The dirt work for the lift had already started for Frank Inselbuch’s home lift in 2017 when Harvey brought 53 inches of water into his home. About two weeks later, workers lifted his 42,000-square-foot home about 6 feet off of the ground in Meyerland.  

"We finally feel like our lives can start heading in the right direction," Iselbuch said. 

That direction is straightly uplifted with the power of hydraulic jacks. The cost can be between $100,000 and $300,000 depending on the home’s size and weight.  

"I would guess there's been about 200. We've done 60 of those since the first of the year,” said Wayne Fairley, the CEO of Planet 3 Elevation.  

Fairley said all but about 20 of the 200 lifted homes are in the Meyerland and Bellaire area.

"We see it accelerating still. We see an inventory of thousands of homes still to be elevated over the next two to five and beyond, years," he said.