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How did the Houston home secured in plastic wrap hold up?

Homeowner disappointed after home still floods during Harvey

HOUSTON – One Houston family was determined to keep the water out of its Meyerland home, after it had flooded twice before.

So the family decided to plastic wrap the home and use 18,000 pounds of sand in hopes of keeping the water out.

"I just (wanted) to prevent it," homeowner Kristin Massey said last week. "Our home had never flooded in 60 years, but it's flooded twice in the last two years, and I just don't want to go through it again."

It was the pain of having to replace brand-new flooring and the scare of losing almost everything in her one-story, 4,000-square-foot home. So , instead of leaving things to chance, her family members took matters into their own hands.

"I brought in 18,000 (pounds) of bags -- I probably could have used 30," Massey said.

You could not get through the front door if you tried. It's blocked.

"Our second line of defense is this liner, and we're expecting this Gorilla Tape to keep it secure," Massey said. "We're expecting it to be really strong."

She also extended her gutters, also securing them with Gorilla Tape.

"(It's) just an experiment," she said ahead of the storm. "I don't know if it's going to work, but I'm hoping it works. If it does, I'll do it again."

So, how did the experiment go?

The 18,000 pounds of sand bags cost Massey and her family about $2,250. The 2 mm waterproof barriers cost $450, the trucks to deliver the goods totaled $459, the Gorilla Tape was $110, the labor to install the materials cost $1,400 and the drain routers cost $130 -- making the overall cost nearly $4,800.

"With a one-story home, even an inch, you have to take four feet out," Massey said. "So, massive construction (and) you're out for another four or five months."

The floodwaters of Harvey pummeled through Houston this weekend. On Wednesday, KPRC got the update from Massey and learned her home had flooded.

"It held up for about a foot," Massey said.

She said she was hopeful that she had found a solution. The problem was that the water didn't stop.

"I can't believe how much water we got," Massey said. "I don't know if I would have done it again, if I had known it was that much water. If it was tax day, I would have done it."

Now, she said, she doesn't know what she's going to do. She had just redone her home after the tax day flood, and she's nervous it will happen again. She said flood insurance covers a minority of the costs of repair, and raising her home is very costly.

"I'm tired of hearing that this is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Our weather is worse every year," Massey said. "There has got to be some changes. The more people that we bring into Houston -- and it's happening -- the more we keep building, the less surface area (there is), the more concrete we have and it's all going in the same waterways and so it makes sense. It's a domino effect that this doesn't work."

Massey, standing on her wet and moldy floors, said her neighbors in Meyerland had their homes raised on stilts. The project was completed the Friday before the hurricane. Their home, standing five feet higher, was only 5 inches from flooding, but it worked.

However, for those who are not able to raise their homes, Massey said something needs to be done.

"We have really got to do something with the drainage system, or this is going to keep happening," she said.

To help her family, her friends brought their friends to help her pick up and throw out the furniture. Massey said all the support has helped her get through the hard times.

"This is a life-changing event," Massey said. "I've gotten calls from other cities (and) countries. And having my close friends and they're bringing friends and their resources -- I actually have a smile today."