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18,000 Pounds Of Sandbags Weren't Enough To Protect This Houston Home

Kristin Massey spent nearly $5,000 trying to protect her home from Hurricane Harvey. Her preparations included sandbags, waterproof barriers and drain routers.

It took two commercial trucks to deliver the 18,000 pounds of sandbags Kristin Massey deployed to anchor plastic sheeting around her home, but it wasn't enough to stop the massive amount of water brought by Harvey. Massey posted new images of her flooded home Tuesday.

"We did all that we could, but it would never have been enough," Massey wrote, providing an update that included photos of her flooded neighborhood of Meyerland, in southwest Houston.

The update was posted to Facebook from Massey's neighbor's house, which is elevated higher than her own. The images and video included scenes of a rowboat tied to the railing of the house's front steps, with water rushing by in the background.

Massey was one of millions of people in eastern Texas who rushed to prepare for Hurricane Harvey last week, as warnings went out about the large and powerful storm. Now a tropical storm, Harvey has brought unprecedented rain. The total (so far) of 49.2 inches that was reported in Houston's southeast Tuesday set a new national record for total rainfall from a tropical system.

Hours before Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, Houston Public Media reported on Massey's preparations, which she said she spent nearly $5,000 to put in place.

"The bags stack 11 inches high with a sheet of waterproofing 5 feet high," HPM's Marissa Cummings reported. "This surrounds her entire one-story home."

But Massey's street in Meyerland was one of many in Houston that flooded badly. Describing the water levels on Tuesday, Massey wrote, "My home (4.5ft inside home, 9ft in street) and community in Meyerland and my parents' home ... and community in Memorial are completely devastated."

Massey continued, "After watching days of helicopter and boat rescues and hearing my son cry over the phone, my heart physically hurts."

Last week, Massey told HPM that she was trying to protect her house because it had already been hit by flooding twice in the past year. She had moved to the area because of its good school district, she said.

In today's update, Massey added, "If your home wasn't affected and after the water recedes, I encourage everyone to continue to give manpower wherever they can. My prayers continue to go out to everyone and [for] the safety of Houston."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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