Christmas in July for Elaine Phillips

It wasn’t supposed to happen. But it did. After receiving two letters and two visits telling Elaine Phillips that the City could do nothing to fix her drainage, trucks magically showed up this morning … and fixed it. They gave her no explanation.

Epic Battle over Partially Blocked Drainage Swale

You may remember me posting about Elaine Phillips on June 21. Elaine was battling cancer, contractors, and the City of Houston bureaucracy all by herself. Her home had just flooded for the fifth time since 1997 and her husband was working in New York. The swale in front of her home had never been regraded and was partially clogged with sediment.

Surprise Turn of Events

“We had been told, as recently as Wednesday, 7/10, that nothing would be done in the near future, despite the unrelenting efforts of both Dave Martin’s office and Dan Crenshaw’s office,” said Elaine. “Then I woke up to four city trucks and a back hoe Thursday morning. They regraded the ditches from my house to the corner and Cindy’s house to the corner. Don’t know how, who, or why it’s happening, but I’m not going to look a gift-horse in the mouth. It’s Christmas in July! Many thanks to Kaaren Cambio from Dan Crenshaw’s office and Dave Martin’s office as well!”

Elaine Phillips newly graded ditch should help ensure positive drainage in future storms and move water away from her house faster.

Altogether, Phillips estimates that various city, county, and congressional representatives worked dozens of hours trying to help her for a job that ultimately took about five hours from start to finish.

Other Possibilities Still Remain

Phillips has also explored elevating her house and buyouts. Both remain possibilities thanks to their extra efforts on her behalf.

In the meantime, Phillips is giddy with glee. Until today, progress had remained elusive for 22 years.

For good measure, and in the spirit of Christmas, while the City of Houston crew was out helping Phillips today, they also deepened the ditches in four more homes near the same intersection.

A hearty thanks to the City from the Kings Forest Board and residents.

Posted by Bob Rehak on July 12, 2019

682 Days since Hurricane Harvey