One year later, Blanco couple still rebuilding

Checking in on flood victims

BLANCO, Texas – One year after floods devastated parts of the Texas Hill Country KSAT checked in with one family whose home was destroyed by the Blanco River.

Though the area has seen plenty of rain the last few weeks it was nothing compared to what South Texas saw this time last year.

"We’ve rebuilt the house to where it's livable." Debra Dupont said.

In the year since the flooding, the Debra Dupont and Jim Harris have spent 12 hours a day cleaning up.

The family’s dog was killed in the flooding. Along with losing the family pet, cars and a boat, their home had to be completely gutted.

Their home took on just over 4 feet of water. Just feet from their home, their son's living space got 2 feet of water.

The foundation was all that remained.

"The couch was up in this tree and one of the ottomans was in one of the trees way down there," Harris said.

The river is flowing pretty calmly now, but there are still remnants from last year's flood; debris and trees hanging from the rock side.

"When you come in and see the damage the river can do, it's shocking at first but you just have to deal with it and we did. We turned it into a blessing rather than a disaster,” Harris said.

The flood has changed how this couple lives on their property.

They have made their home into an open-area guest home. So, if this ever floods again, it can’t do as much damage.

"What we decided to do was take out the windows, take out the doors, take out the back wall and make this like a breezeway," Harris said while explaining the changes.

It still needs a lot of work, but it's already been furnished with outdoor furniture and will eventually have an outdoor kitchen.

But the newly renovated space will always wear signs of the flood.

"You can kind of see it. A very faint brown water line," Dupont said as she pointed to a waterline on the fireplace.

And, neat treasures collected in the yard, such as a tree root that grew around a rock that the couple is now using as a table decoration.

"So you find things like that, that otherwise wouldn't have been found because of the flood," said Jim.

More importantly, Debra and Jim said they found strength in each other.

"Anytime you go through a very difficult time like this, it can either tear you a part or bring you closer together.  We were fortunate to have it bring us together," Jim said.

The couple's new home will be built near their old one, but they'll be farther away from the river.

Construction will begin on that home this summer and finish by next spring.