Hurricane force winds no match for Oak Creek home or owner’s snoring.
When Hurricane Rita ravaged the upper Gulf Coast of Texas in September 2005, most news reports covered the impossible traffic along evacuation routes. One Stowell, Texas couple chose to ride out the 110-mph winds in their Oak Creek Home.
This is their story.
The service and front porch sold them.
Sam and Cindy have lived in Stowell, Texas, a small community east of Houston, for 10 years. In May 2005, they started looking for a new home. Sam researched Fleetwood, Palm Harbor and Oak Creek Homes. According to him, only Oak Creek “was willing to work with me to find the home that fit our needs and budget.” The couple chose the Model 8051, a 1,367-square-foot modular home with James Hardie siding and optional Nova Brick skirting. Oak Creek’s exclusive 7-Year Service Protection Package went a long way toward helping them make their decision, but Cindy said it was the front porch that won her over.
Right after the sale, an Oak Creek construction manager came to Sam and Cindy’s one-acre property. Sam had chosen a spot for their new home under the canopy of a huge live oak tree. A survey crew soon followed and, within three weeks, workers had finished engineering and pouring the foundation and preparing the site. Oak Creek arranged for all the connections and permits and made sure the entire installation process went smoothly.
The service didn’t stop after Sam and Cindy moved in. Oak Creek made good on its promise to come back a couple of weeks after installation to make sure everything was all right with their house. What surprised Sam and Cindy was how Oak Creek continued to provide quick and continuing service. "We’d call with a question, they’d answer with a visit to our home,” Sam said. “They took care of all our concerns. And the same person came out each time, so he knew our home, our property, us. He made us happy.”
Eye to eye with a major force of nature.
Sam and Cindy originally planned to leave when Rita turned their way, but traffic on Interstate 10 quickly changed their minds. They decided to stay in their new home. They took everything off the walls and counter tops, stored everything they could outside and boarded up all the windows.
They felt the first effects of the Category 3 storm around 10 PM Friday, September 23, 2005. The winds howled at sustained speeds of 110 mph for several hours and gusted to 130 mph.
An owner’s confidence.
Sam had no doubt his new Oak Creek Home would stand up to Rita. He had watched and talked in-depth with the technicians who installed it. He knew his home was built to 120-mph-wind-load specifications.
Which probably explains why he was able to fall asleep around 10:30 the night of the storm. He was exhausted from all the preparations, sure. But don’t slight what knowledge can do for confidence.
Cindy chose to stay up and on the phone with her children through the night. “The wind got louder and louder,” she said. “It sounded like a jet plane right outside the house. It stayed like that for hours.”
So did Sam, fast asleep on the couch.
“At one point during the night, a tree fell and hit our home,” Cindy reported. “I woke Sam up and asked if he had heard it. He said no, but that he’d keep an ear out for anything. Then he went back to sleep.”
The damage to the Stowell area from Hurricane Rita was severe. The storm knocked out all power, uprooted century-old trees and crippled the structures of a number of buildings and homes.
Sam and Cindy came through the ordeal without a scratch. Except for a couple of minor nicks from the tree Sam didn’t hear, so did their Oak Creek home.
While Oak Creek Homes doesn’t recommend staying in any home in the path of a hurricane, Sam and Cindy’s story is a unique testament to the quality craftsmanship and strength of Oak Creek’s construction methods.
Sam and Cindy's home after Hurricane Rita, looking a great deal like it did before Hurricane Rita.