It’s been more than a year since Winter Storm Uri made an unexpected and unprecedented visit to Texas. For many of us, the storm is a chilly memory we’ve put behind us. For some, Uri’s disruptions stretched long past the storm’s official exit from the state. For some, life is just beginning to return to normal.
Joey Puckett, and his two teenage daughters, Madison and Joely, live in Nolanville, a small town east of its larger and more well-known neighbors, Killeen and Fort Hood. Nine months after the winter storm, as the Pucketts were watching television one November evening, Joey noticed an unusual buckling in their living room floor.
“My dad asked if we thought the floor looked wavy to us. When I looked closer, I noticed that the floor was coming apart from the wall,” Madison said.
An inspection uncovered the source of the problem. An underground pipe cracked during the storm and pumped gallons of free-flowing water under the Puckett’s home. While the home’s foundation was in good condition, the flooring was not. Wooden joists and planks caved in under pressure from the water flow. Floor tiles peeled away at a simple touch. Wood planks buckled under the slightest pressure.
“We learned to walk around the holes in the floors. They were in the living room, the kitchen, and in front of our refrigerator. Our dog fell into a hole one time until he learned how to get around them, too,” Joey said.
Before long, the flooring throughout the house looked like a rollercoaster. The Pucketts got a $70,000 estimate for the repairs, money the Pucketts didn’t have and their insurance wouldn’t cover.
That’s when the Pucketts contacted Camila and Matthew McConaughey’s just keep livin Foundation (JKL), which connected the Pucketts to the Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN). Working in concert with JKL, contractors, and volunteers, ADRN stepped in to repair the Puckett’s home. New underground plumbing was installed, along with new flooring and kitchen and bathroom cabinetry.
This past November, the Pucketts moved back into their renovated, level-floor home. But they got much more than a new home. They got a new family.
“This house was broken. The death of my parents and other things broke us. We just weren’t getting along the way we used to. And we needed repairing, too,” Joey said.
ADRN’s mission reaches further than repairing floors and house frames. ADRN brings hope into crisis. Through our network of more than 200 churches, we offer disaster survivors physical, emotional, and spiritual care to help survivors thrive long after disasters end.
“Through this process, we realized what is important in life. We realized that we have to focus on us, on getting back into the church. We need to be there for each other and love each other endlessly.
“We love our new home, but our family getting fixed supersedes all that. We went from hopelessness to hopeful, to wanting to be a light for others,” Joey said.
This December, the Pucketts are making plans for their first Christmas in their new home and sharing it with friends and family.
We’re privileged to be a part of their story and invite you to partner with us to help disaster survivors in our community.