Thursday, August 23, 2007

The House

In a much earlier post, you might remember I posted a number of images that showed my grandmother's house sitting in the waterof the Coos Bay flood, a year-and-a-half ago. The house was salvageable, but had to be gutted completely. It's taken some time, for which my grandmother has been in a series of trying and stressful situations with insurance companies and grant-workers, various other organizations relating to the flood that occurred, but finally, something is happening with her house. They're raising the house ten feet in the air, and rebuilding the ground beneath it. Here are the odd, surreal pictures. Keep in mind that I spent three of my high-school years in this house, and now my bedroom is 15 feet up in the air. Unfortunately, we couldn't get any pictures of the water at it's largest height against the house, as we didn't have enough time to wade out there... this was a very sudden flood and receded after a day or two, then happened again, then receded after another day or two. Here's an image (note the mailboxes for an indication of height):

And here, a year-and-a-half later, are a couple of the house-raising images:

The above image shows the house at about 12 feet off the ground, and it took around 6 hours to raise it with water-pressured hoses attached to specialized lifting jacks. I don't know the parlance or terms for these sorts of machines. The entire interior of the house has been gutted and removed. This is a house on the outside only. There are no walls, no pipes, nothing. There are a series of large beams running through it, which you can see in the above images.

It was strange standing underneath my high-school bedroom and looking up at the ceiling, which was now 15 feet higher above me than it used to be. Walking under the house in general is surreal, as you can look up into it, and it just seems like you're looking up into a two-story house who's ground level has been destroyed, though it's really just a one-story house up on beams. What a trip. I'll post an image or two of the finished house when it's done. They're currently pouring a new, huge concrete-walled foundation beneath the house at the level it's at in the above picture. The house will be raised a total of 10 feet, once all is said and done, and remain there indefinitely.

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