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Flooded by Harvey, Dickinson couple establishes new roots at Eagle’s Trace

Created date

April 18th, 2018
Jimmy and Peggy Fredericksen pose with their daughter Pam Burgeson

Jim and Peggy Fredericksen’s home in Dickinson, Tex., flooded during Hurricane Harvey. After eight months of upheaval, the couple is finally at home at Eagle’s Trace, where their daughter Pam Burgeson (right) is sales director.

When Jim and Peggy Fredericksen moved into their new apartment home at Eagle’s Trace last month, they closed the door on eight months of upheaval wrought by Hurricane Harvey.

“We had quite a stint as nomads,” says Jim. “Right now we’re excited to be in our new place at Eagle’s Trace.”

Jim and Peggy’s unforeseen journey began in late August 2017, as Hurricane Harvey bore down on the Gulf Coast.

“We were watching the news and keeping an eye on conditions outside,” says Jim, a retired naval officer who spent the latter part of his career working as an international business development and project manager for Kellogg Brown & Root (now KBR). “Water wasn’t collecting in the ditches, so everything seemed to be okay.”

Rising waters

The couple’s Dickinson, Tex., house, southeast of Houston, flooded once before in 1979, when Tropical Storm Claudette dropped an unprecedented 42 inches of rain on the area in a 24-hour period.

“We redid the entire first floor after Claudette, so we were keeping a watchful eye on Harvey,” says Jim. “We lived near Dickinson Bayou, but even up until midnight [on August 26, 2017], we didn’t see any signs of flooding. I was starting to relax.”

The relief was short-lived. Floodwaters crossed the threshold of Jim and Peggy’s house in the early morning hours of Sunday, August 27, 2017.

“Once the crest came down the bayou, it was remarkable how quickly the house flooded,” says Jim. “Within 30 or 40 minutes the water was waist deep in the house.”

Bouncing around

The couple evacuated by boat that evening and took a bus to Galveston, where they spent the night in a motel. In the days following, as floodwaters subsided, Jim and Peggy looked for an apartment to lease in Dickinson.

“We couldn’t find anything available in Dickinson, so we had to rent a small apartment in Galveston,” says Jim. “We commuted back and forth to Dickinson every day to work on sheet rock removal and remediation of the house. It was wearing us out.”

Eventually, the couple found an 800-square-foot apartment in Dickinson to lease, closer to their flooded home.

“For a split second after the hurricane, we considered rebuilding,” says Jim. “But the more we thought about it, we realized we’d be better off letting someone else put the house back together.”

In December 2017, after sheet rock removal, mold remediation, and basic mitigation, Jim and Peggy sold their 4,100-square-foot home “as-is” to neighbors who wanted more space for their growing family.

New place to call home

Fortunately, Jim and Peggy had a new home on the horizon at Eagle’s Trace, a community that’s familiar to them because their daughter, Pam Burgeson, is the sales director.

“Through Pam, we’ve known about Eagle’s Trace for years,” says Jim. “About six or seven years ago, we started to think that Eagle’s Trace might be a great place for us to move. We like the amenities, the floor plans, and the people.”

The couple joined the priority list in 2012, putting down a fully refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve their place in line for the apartment home of their choice.

“We weren’t ready to move at that time, but we wanted to get our names on the list,” says Jim. “Over the years, we’ve enjoyed going to events at the community and getting to know the residents.”

As priority list members, Jim and Peggy enjoyed invitations to special events, where they discovered even more ties to the West Houston community. Jim attended the U.S. Naval Academy with resident Kent Drummond, and Peggy, a retired nurse, connected with a friend and resident she knew through nursing, Carol Loggins.

“We’re excited for the social opportunities at Eagle’s Trace,” says Jim. “This is the start of a new chapter for us.”

Accelerated timeline

Initially, Jim and Peggy were planning to move to Galveston Crossing, a new residence building under construction and scheduled to open in late summer 2018.

“We thought we were in a holding pattern until Galveston Crossing opens,” says Jim. “But then the same floor plan we’d reserved in Galveston Crossing became available in the Amarillo Terrace residence building.”

After months of disjointed living accommodations, Jim and Peggy jumped at the chance to move in sooner than planned. Their time on the priority list ensured they were able to get the floor plan and location in the community they wanted.

The couple’s two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,400-square-foot San Jacinto-style floor plan in Amarillo Terrace overlooks the lake and stunning rose garden.

“Our apartment is so spacious compared with the small apartments we’ve been living in for months,” says Jim. “It feels like we’ve been in orbit since Harvey. We’re glad to finally settle in and start enjoying our new life at Eagle’s Trace.”