How to protect your home the next time it floods in Houston

By Tera Roberson - Special Projects Producer

HOUSTON - The rain and flooding on May 7 caused a rise in Jennifer Coulter’s stress level.

“It literally all came flooding back. No pun intended,” she said. “It has been a hard week emotionally, and I have certainly felt things that I thought I was OK with. And I thought I was over with, and I’m not."

The flooding was an unwanted, yet familiar reminder for the Kingwood resident whose home flooded two years ago during Hurricane Harvey.

Coulter and her husband own Texas Power Agents and work from home, so they spend a lot of time in their property. It’s hard for them to get past the memories.

“We had 19 inches, but we have a one-story house and that meant all of it. It just blew my mind. I had no concept that my house would be torn down to the studs by water," Coulter said.

So now when the rain falls she waits and hopes for the best.

“Everything changed, financially. The security that we had known, literally floated down the river and I'm not sure when we'll recover," she said.

But what if there was a way to help people keep homes and precious valuables safe when floodwaters begin to rise?

One man says he has a solution.

Keith Anderson is a flood protection expert and owner of the Flood Defense Group.

He says the Noaq Boxwall is a lightweight answer to rising floodwaters.

"This barrier is the only one that one person can quickly put it in front of moving groundwater to immediately redirect it. It essentially uses the weight of the water that you're protecting against to tack it down," Anderson said. "So as water starts to build up against this barrier, the higher the floodwater gets, the more downward pressure that essentially seals this product to the ground. And so once water is up against it, it simply doesn’t move.”

The Boxwall is about 20 inches high, and 3 feet wide. It clicks together like Lego pieces and costs $125 per unit.

“Not all homes need a flood wall to go entirely around the home,” Anderson said.

Anderson showed Coulter how the Boxwall could help protect her family’s home from future flooding.

Wayne Klotz, a civil engineer and member of the Coastal Water Authority Board of Directors, said flood-proofing can be effective.

“You can even go online and look up flood-proofing and you'll get as many places as you want to go (to find a flood defense device)," Klotz said.

However, he stresses that homeowners should be very careful when it comes to diverting water away from their home.

“It's a state law, it's not even local law. You cannot divert water from your property to your next-door neighbor's property. So if there are facilities, whether it's a small wall or a box or something, you still have to keep that water on your property,” he said.

Coulter said she may be open to using the Noaq Boxwall.

“It’s worth investigating. Worth asking more questions about certainly considering the environment we're in,” Coulter said.

The cost of a full pallet, which could surround the average home, will run a little over $3,200.

Klotz also stressed the need for flood insurance, whether you use a flood prevention device or not.

For information on how to buy a flood insurance policy, click here.

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