| Built to Flood
Brutal Choice in Houston: Sell Home at a Loss or Face New Floods
KATY, Tex. — When Hurricane Harvey struck Houston, floodwaters swept through Eileen and Jeff Swanson’s two-story brick home, blanketing the first floor in muck and nearly destroying a domestic existence 12 years in the making. Their china cabinet, in the family for three generations, was reduced to a sodden mess. A couch, once a soft red, had blushed into a watery burgundy; the carpet squished like grass at the bottom of a marsh. A dirty foot-high water line ran wall to wall, marking the local crest of an event that the National Weather Service called “the most significant tropical cyclone rainfall event in United States history.”
After the floodwaters receded, the Swansons returned to a house ravaged, endless questions, few answers — and a looming decision.
They are not alone. Hundreds of homeowners in Canyon Gate at Cinco Ranch, a quiet subdivision in a west Houston suburb, a..