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Change of plans

Hurricane Harvey interrupted life as we know it

Created date

February 19th, 2018
Sharon Francis moved to Eagle’s Trace after her house in Bear Creek Village flooded during Hurricane Harvey.

Sharon Francis moved to Eagle’s Trace after her house flooded during the storm.

The evening before Hurricane Harvey flooded her home in Houston’s Bear Creek Village neighborhood, Sharon Francis made four gallons of spaghetti sauce for a church that was taking in flood victims.

“My home had never flooded before,” says Sharon, who had lived at the same address for 25 years. “I never imagined it would take on water.”

By the next morning, water was seeping in the home’s atrium doors.

“I was calm in that moment,” says Sharon. “I packed a bag with my legal documents, three pairs of shorts, two shirts, and went to stand on the curb to wait for a friend who was coming with a kayak. Within forty-five minutes, the water rose from ankle-deep to above my knees.”

Sharon stayed with friends in the hurricane’s immediate aftermath. Soon, her calm demeanor gave way to a sense of panic.

“My mental state wasn’t great in those first few weeks after the storm,” says Sharon. “I didn’t even trust myself to drive.”

Fortunately, help was just a phone call away.

New home, fresh start

“I was planning to move to Eagle’s Trace when the new residence building [Galveston Crossing]  opens this summer,” says Sharon. “A friend suggested I call the community and ask if they had any available apartments I could move into immediately. Within two hours of my call, Jodie [Schroeder, sales counselor] had an apartment for me. That was the first step in my recovery.”

Galveston Crossing is a residence building currently under construction at Eagle’s Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston. Featuring 118 new apartment homes, Galveston Crossing is scheduled to open in summer 2018.

“The hurricane accelerated my timeline by nearly a year,” says Sharon, who moved into an existing apartment at Eagle’s Trace on September 16, 2017, three weeks after her home flooded.

“Harvey also helped me downsize very quickly,” she adds with a wry smile. “I lost my car, my furniture, my pictures—everything below counter-level.”

Safe haven

Once settled at Eagle’s Trace, Sharon found her equilibrium returning.

“I was looking for a safe place, and Eagle’s Trace was the perfect place to be,” she says. “My heartfelt thanks go out to the staff and residents. They supported and encouraged me and made sure I had what I needed. I felt rescued, and my sanity was coming back.”

Eagle’s Trace also proved to be a haven as Sharon dealt with the arduous rebuilding process.

“I could deal with the water restoration and insurance adjusters, knowing that I was coming home to Eagle’s Trace at the end of the day,” says Sharon, who saw her Bear Creek house through the remediation process before putting in on the market in December.

Now, as Sharon closes the book on the hurricane’s devastating impact, she finds herself looking ahead to the future. This summer, she’ll move into her new apartment in Galveston Crossing, a two-bedroom, two-bath Menger-style floor plan with an abundance of natural light.

“I’m rebuilding my life at Eagle’s Trace,” she says. “This is a new time for me, time to travel and spend more time with my family. I’m starting a new chapter, one that promises to be a lot of fun.”