November 16, 2018

This senior care facility was damaged by Hurricane Harvey – now they are starting to rebuild

Brayes Bayou cuts through the neighborhoods of Houston where its Jewish life is concentrated — and also where some of the worst flooding from Hurricane Harvey was felt.

Among the institutions that took on water was Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services, an elder care facility on the north bank of the bayou.

“Many of our residents have dementia and they were unable to comprehend what was going on,” Malcolm Slatko, the CEO of Seven Acres, said in a new video produced for the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston.

The video shows the extent of the damage to the facility, where flooring on the first level and all the drywall several feet up from the ground had to be removed.

During the floods, Seven Acres staff and their families and pets took shelter at the facility, according to Slatko. Afterwards, the facility worked to accommodate residents of other elder care facilities that fared worse than it did, even as construction crews worked seven days on repairs at Seven Acres.

The flood and its aftermath, “was a tear-jerking experience,” Slatko said in the video. “Now we’re full of optimism and hope that a new seven acres a rebuilt seven acres is on the way.”

Three synagogues near Brayes Bayou — the Reform Congregation Beth Israel, the Conservative Congregation Beth Yeshurun and the United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston — also flooded during the historic storm.

Houston’s Jewish population stood at nearly 64,000 during a recent demographic survey, of which more than two-thirds lives in areas hardest hit by flooding, according to the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston.

More coverage on Hurricane Harvey:

After the flood: A tale of two synagogues in Hurricane Harvey’s wake

Hurrican Harvey: How you can help