Last week, numerous towns along the coast of Texas were struck by Hurricane Harvey, a powerful Category 4 hurricane with incessant rain, sustained winds of approximately 130 mph, and gusts of up to 155 mph. Despite the fact that Harvey was later downgraded to a “tropical storm,” it still caused a massive amount of damage to countless houses due to flooding. One man in Lake Jackson, Texas, however, managed to protect their home by a “water dam.”
Specifically, Brian Shandley was able to keep his house dry during Harvey by surrounding it with a water-filled dam made out of a waterproof fabric tube that he bought for $1,200 from a Louisiana-based company called Aqua Dams. According to reports, the dam works like a sandbag but instead of sand, it’s filled with water. Once full, it then pumps any excess rainwater back out into the flooded area, keeping the area within the dam as dry as possible.
Although Shandley’s belongings were safe and undamaged, he told reporters that he felt bad for those who lost their possessions. “I feel bad for the people who didn’t have flood insurance who lost everything. My heart goes out to them truly,” he stated.
Unsurprisingly, Shandley is not the only one who decided to protect his home with a water dam. Randy and Jennifer Socha did the same thing with their own home in Rosenberg, Texas. A year prior, they had suffered severe flooding, resulting in $150,000 worth of damages. Because of this, they decided to $18,000 on the water dam hoping to avoid additional costly repairs. Since their house remained relatively dry, it appears to have been a good investment.
This is not the first time Aqua Dams have been used in a flood. Last year, Randy Wagner spent $8,300 on one to protect his home in Rosharon, Texas from a torrential rainstorm that left behind 27-inches of floodwater. “$8,300 is to me a small investment on a house that could have two feet of water in it and cost me $150,000 in repairs.” he reasoned.
Although his neighbors initially thought he was crazy while he was setting it up, after it kept his house safe from the flood, they realized how amazing his idea really was. “I was the crazy guy. Everybody was kinda going by, laughing at me. But today they are really impressed with this Aqua Dam,” explained Wagner while speaking to reporters.
Unfortunately, not everyone was as prepared for the flooding as Shandley and the Sochas. In some parts of Texas, the flooding was so bad that wild animals were filmed displaced inside people’s homes. During the storm, for instance, Viviana Saldana, from Houston, Texas, her father catching a fish in their flooded living room with his bare hands.
At the start of the video, her shirtless father can be seen diving into the water in his flooded living room. “What the hell!” she exclaims off-screen before laughing and pointing to the other side of the room. Her father then walks over to where she pointed and dives in the water for the second time. Upon doing so, a dark blur in the water swims away from him. He follows it and pounces one again. This time, when he rises, he has a large fish by the tail. Thoroughly entertained, everyone watching off-screen then burst into laughter.
And in Lake Houston, Texas, Brian Foster reportedly an alligator lying on the floor of his dining room while he was looking at the damaged done to his house by Harvey with a clean-up crew. “I walked through the house and was looking at demo-ing the house when I turned around and walked back through my dining room. I looked down, and there was a [roughly] 10-foot alligator in my dining room,” Foster explained to reporters.
Immediately after seeing the alligator, he called the Harris County Precinct 4 and asked them to help him remove the dangerous animal. Upon arriving, several officers worked together to catch the large reptile, which they then carried outside and placed in the back of a pickup truck.
The Aqua Dam appears to work extremely well. Anyone living in an area prone to flooding should consider investing in one. Doing so could ultimately help them save thousands of dollars.