Spencer Solves It: Family impacted by Harvey receives new water heater, connections, pipes

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Four months after the nightmare of Hurricane Harvey, Ernest Bess, his wife Cynthia and their two children were coming home to nothing.

The Bess family was able to save some old photographs.

Looking at one, Cynthia (one of their children) exclaimed, “Wow, this is the picture of me and your dad.”

But Ernest knew what they did have.

“The house and each other, and the clothes that’s in the garage. That’s basically our lives right here,” he said.

A Facebook video captured Harvey’s fury and its impact on their home.

You can hear his daughter say, “We need to get out. We need a way out. The water’s getting higher in here.”

When a torrent of floodwater poured into King’s Lake Forest subdivision, where the Bess family lives, they had no way out, according to Cynthia.

“I wanted to protect my children and there was nothing I could do,” Beatrice said. “All I could think about was, we’re going to drown in our house.”

Finally the Bess family was rescued by boat. They patched up their flood-ravaged home.

Just when they thought it was over, the Besses learned their old, rusted-out water heater was leaking gas and could kill them.

“If you try to light it or use the pilot, it’s going to cause an explosion,” Beatrice said.

With no money to buy a new water heater, the Besses turned to Spencer Solves It.

Right away, we contacted Budget Home Services.

“It’s a tragedy that they had to suffer through Harvey, and there’s not much help or assistance available, so we’re happy to help," Casey Hill with the company said.

The crew from BHS pulled out the dangerous old water heater and replaced it with a brand-new, 40-gallon, energy-efficient water heater.

It’s a $1,200 job, but BHS did it absolutely free. They installed all new pipes and connections.

It left Ernest in tears.

“This is really gonna be a big help. I thank you Mr. (Bill) Spencer. It’s just overwhelming,” he said.

“I want to send out a huge thank-you to Casey and Shannon Hill at Budget Home Services. They do plumbing, heating and air conditioning. They not only bought and installed the new water heater, but they also fixed a broken water pipe in the Bess family’s attic that could have caused even more flooding,” Spencer said.

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