To the owners of homes that flooded in Westbury,
Water damage is damage and being displaced from your home is being displaced, however, Westbury flooding was a bit different than the flooding along Brays Bayou. With the exception of a few homes the water in Westbury homes was from 1 inch to 6 inches and very few actually had water reach the electrical plugs. Despite that fact, the City of Houston sent out “substantial damage” to many Westbury homeowners that are, according to my sources, sent when the water reaches 18 inches and therefore involves your electrical systems. This has created more panic and uncertainty. This letter was sent out on a blanket basis. The City of Houston, capriciously and arbitrarily, decided to send this to Westbury addresses when in fact very few if any homes were substantially damaged.
We also have 3 categories of flooded homes along the Willow Waterhole Bayou from Braewick to Chimney Rock.
1.) Homes that have flooded multiple times in the past 5 years.
2.) Homes that flooded for the first time
3.) Homes that flooded for the first time since 1975
I am not an engineer. I am an observer. In June of 1975 many homes in this affected area flooded and substantial improvements were made on the Willow Waterhole Bayou and the majority of the homes that flooded in 1975 have not flooded again until now.
There has been some flooding in 2011 and April of 2013 and that is why we began lobbying for new storm drains and for our drainage ditches to be dredged. HCFCD is currently working on our ditches and the City has some of Westbury slated for a storm drainage project in the 2020 CIP plan. Hopefully both of these projects will mitigate the flooding that is occurring in Westbury in the 100 year flood plain.
Much misinformation is floating around. We have asked and expect someone from the Flood Management Office to attend our Westbury Civic Club meeting this Wednesday at 7PM.
Two things come into play. The value of the improvement on your land (your house) and the cost of repair to bring your home back to its pre damaged state.
1. Look at the 2015 value of your improvement on HCAD. Your cost of repair must be less than 50% of that number. We all know the HCAD valuations are bogus. When you get your NFIP Proof of loss the value of your home according to FEMA will also be listed. If those e numbers still are too low, an independent real estate appraiser can help you there.
2. The cost to repair your house. You can use the NFIP proof of loss. Or you can bring a notarized and signed estimate from your contractor and then the city will send an inspector to see if they agree with that number.
Once both of these numbers confirm that you below the 50% threshold you will be issued a permit that says you are good to go. Cost of the permits is under $500.00. Since most Westbury homes just need flooring, a few feet of sheet rock, maybe some cabinets and some paint you should be well within the 50% rule.