After Harvey, family in TX lives in renovated garage - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

After Harvey, family in TX lives in renovated garage

While they wait to build a home after their first one was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, they turned the garage into a comfy space to call home. (Source: KTRK/CNN) While they wait to build a home after their first one was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, they turned the garage into a comfy space to call home. (Source: KTRK/CNN)

HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) - Inside the Rupe family’s home, there are still board games and smiles and dinner time feels the same, even if where they lay their heads isn’t.

“Just being settled is really important,” Jennifer Rupe said.

When Harvey’s rains flooded Houston, the family’s southwest Houston street, just off Bray’s Bayou, was inundated. Their home took on three feet of water. The family of six had to take a police boat out.

When they returned, their focus wasn’t the three-bedroom house at streetside, but the garage out back. With help from David Rupe’s brothers, father and a friend, they remediated the first floor, putting up drywall and transforming the space where they used to park their cars into a half-bathroom and sleeping quarters.

Upstairs, they added a full kitchen, and they have a living room, dining room and full bathroom. All the work was done within about three weeks.

“I think it’s pretty amazing, just to have the idea to make a home quickly versus being in between houses and relying on friends,” Jennifer Rupe said.

The Rupes say for them and their children, who are all under 9, this is more cost-effective and comfortable. They will eventually make a decision about their real house, one that has now flooded twice in just a year and a half.

“We decided that we’re not going to fix it and leave it the way it is,” David Rupe said. “We’re either going to raze it or raise it. Either we’re going to knock it down and build new, or we’re going to lift it up.”

Until then, the garage is home. The youngest has her opinion about Harvey - “Bad” - but overall it’s working for their family.

“They just need food, shelter and some love,” David said. “I don’t think they care where they are.”

Copyright 2017 KPTV via CNN. All rights reserved.

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