Texas flood survivors consider container homes as they rebuild

WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — As the floodwaters rose Memorial Day weekend, many people in Wimberley and other communities were left without a home. While they may want to rebuild, that process can take months.

Now some are considering a unique alternative: container homes. They can range from 160- to 4,000 square feet, depending on a family’s needs.

LeeAnne and Mike Bower are looking into the idea. They lost nearly all their belongings in the flood and estimate rebuilding could take over a year.

“The master bedroom is the one that took one of the worst hits because it had a large window, and all the furniture was sucked out of the window and on down the river,” said LeeAnne. “We still like the neighborhood, we still like the house, and we’re chancing it — that it will not happen again in our lifetime.”

J. Evans Home Construction is stepping in to help flood survivors during the process. They typically build container homes for oil rigs, but partners with the company realized they would be great as temporary homes in places like Wimberley.

“When we started hearing the stories, we knew we had to do something,” said Brent Galligan, a partner with J. Evans. “We realized this structure would be perfect for flood relief, to be able to get these things into people’s properties in a very short time. That way they have a livable space while they’re rebuilding their home.”

LeeAnne says she and her husband have learned to live with much less. They want a container home to live in now, and plan to use it as a secondary home in the future.

“We’ve gone away realizing that life is very important, that it’s amazing more people didn’t die in this. Ours is just one of numerous stories of just barely getting out.”

The container homes are energy-efficient and designed to survive severe weather. Galligan says when they’re installed as permanent homes, they are anchored to the ground with steel rods and cement.

“Containers are made out of 85 percent recycled materials — 33 times stronger than any traditional home,” said Galligan. “FEMA is coming in and helping people out financially, but not everyone is getting the help that they need, and a lot of families are still without homes.”

He and his team are raising money in order to provide flood victims the homes at discounted rates. Donations can be made to their GoFundMe page or to The Love Nests. 

The homes range from $16,000 to over $30,000.

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