Fed Up With Floods, Couple Decides To Raise House

Two feet of water from Hurricane Georges in 1998 was one thing, but when Hurricane Katrina dumped seven feet into Sylvia and Frank Feazell's house, they said 'enough.' So they decided to raise their home.

"Been flooded twice and we're getting too old for this. We decided we had to do something. Another flood, lose everything again, we just couldn't go through it at our age," says Sylvia Feazell.

She knows she'll love the end result, but Feazell says it's hard to watch.

"I've videoed, I've cried. I go in the house and go in the camper and come back and say 'oh no.' But when I saw it first going up, I lost it. It was just too much. I never thought I'd see that."

Three companies owned by the same family are doing the work.  It is a huge job, done in two phases, with a lot of steel and equipment.

House moving company owner Dennis Bailey says, "We use airbags for the initial lift to get it started with the steel beams and cross loads and bracing in there. After we get it up to around two foot, we're going to put a unified hydraulic jacking system under it to continue the lift."

Bailey says this type of house elevation is new to our area and he wants people to realize they can raise their homes instead of completely rebuilding.

"We can take it off that slab and elevate it, cut them a foundation under it and the flooring. They can keep their house and they can be up above the flood lines."

The first lift takes a week. Then the flooring goes in and it's finished in another day or two.

Sylvia Feazell says, "We're anxious to get it up there and get that elevator in."

The Feazells hope to start using the elevator in another month.

To raise a home like the Feazells cost about $80,000. The Feazell's say it's worth the price to keep the house they've lived in on the bayou since 1992.