The lives of Jimmy and Tiffany Bishop, and their children, Jacob and Joshua, were drastically changed. The Bishops had to escape their home in the Bay Colony Pointe neighborhood as almost a foot of water swept into it during Hurricane Harvey. Every day since has been a journey to normality, the Bishops said.
The week after the hurricane, the Bishops stayed with friends until moving into Tiffany’s parents’ house in Houston. After having many discussions about their options, Jimmy and Tiffany decided to renovate their home of 15 years.
After nine months of tight living, the Bishop family has moved back into their League City home.
“We were so naive coming into this,” Jimmy said. “I had no idea this would take almost a year to complete.”
The Bishops officially began rebuilding their home in September; however, they could not continue renovations until their roof was mended from the wind during Hurricane Harvey.
“Dealing with our windstorm insurance was the biggest headache,” Tiffany said.
The Bishops said it took months for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association to process their claim.
“They said we didn’t have enough damage to make a claim,” Tiffany said. “But we fought them and found a third party to represent us before they sent us any money.”
The association paid $17,000 for the Bishops’ roof and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provided $12,000 for general repairs, the Bishops said. The family also had to take a 30-year, $100,000 small-business loan to continue renovations, however.
“We just wanted it done,” Jimmy said. “We would rather pay that back slowly than pay for everything out of pocket and be out of our house longer.”
The Bishops felt fortunate to have the opportunity to take the loan and get back into their house more quickly, they said.
“There are so many people doing this themselves that aren’t even close to getting back,” Jimmy said. “We are very lucky.”
Although living after a hurricane is difficult, the Bishops found glimpses of an upside to their situation.
Learning to live flexibly, waking up earlier and dealing with change were some of the things all four family members were able to achieve from their time renovating their home.
Living with Tiffany’s parents also gave the Bishops the chance to get closer as a family.
“Jacob and Joshua were able to get closer to their grandparents,” Tiffany said. “They also got along way more than I thought they would.”
Jimmy is wary of any future flooding with more housing being developed and not enough drainage to accompany the changes, he said. But the Bishops don’t want to dwell on future threats or past problems.
The four have plans to continue working on their home, to spend time with friends and family and to prepare for the school year ahead. They will be ready for whatever comes their way, they said.
“We know so much more about ourselves now,” Jimmy said. “We are smarter, more experienced, we know how to get through this.”