New technology raises homes to avoid flooding during hurricanes

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Jasmine Singletary
Published: Updated:
Damage done during Hurricane Charley (CREDIT: WINK News)

A new technology called High Tide Home System raises homes to avoid severe flooding during hurricanes.

On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley struck Charlotte County leaving businesses and homes destroyed.

Kevin Doyle, owner of Celtic Ray Public House said, “It was terrifying. We were pretty smug. We had a few pints, the place was evacuated so we hid in the pub. Thinking it was going to go past us to Tampa and it didn’t.”

Celtic Ray Public House (CREDIT: WINK News)

Former WINK News Chief Meteorologist Jim Farrell made the call first about the hurricane changing directions and heading towards our coast.

Doyle and his son Max Doyle were not expecting the hurricane to head toward them.

“We hid in the bathroom, one of the bathrooms that had no windows. And we saw the windows pop out front and the doors fly out. Then the roof started flying off,” Doyle said.

Max said about half of their pub blew away and got ripped up from above them.

After the category 4 storm passed they said Punta Gorda was unrecognizable.

You couldn’t find your way around. There were no street signs, no traffic lights, trees were across the roads,” Doyle said.

The city was destroyed but the community came together to start the clean-up.

“Everybody just got together, everybody. We helped, you know, other businesses that come and helped us with our debris and broken furniture,” Max said.

The rebuilding began transforming Punta Gorda into bigger and stronger.

“We have new foundations that are strong, 10 times stronger than when we was acquired. So yeah, I think it’ll be in better shape,” Max said.

Doyle said the flooding is still a concern at the Celtic Ray.

“We’re probably at the lowest point in the county of this corner right here. So if it’s flooded anywhere we’ve already flooded,” Doyle said.

Flooding can do a lot of damage and costs a lot of money.

But a new technology called High Tide Home Systems might be able to help him and other property owners avoid this problem.

Philip Destefano, Chief Executive Officer at High Tide Homes Incorporated said, “This would eliminate that because these homes are raised above the floodwaters.”

The company installs a jackable steel grid platform, that allows screws to lift your home from eight to as much as 14 feet in the air.

High Tide Homes Incorporated’s steel grid platform lifting a home off the ground (CREDIT: WINK News)

So if there is a flood warning, all you have to do is press a button on the High Tide Homes Inc’s smartphone app to raise your home.

“This new technology will save millions, if not billions of dollars, between damage and flip losses with insurance companies. That’s really what this is about,” Destefano said.

Hopefully to prevent damage to homes and businesses from another catastrophe like hurricane Charley.

“When this day comes, we just think of where we’re at today. And we’ve got through it. If and when another one comes, we’ll be ready,” Max said.

High Tide Homes is working to build new homes that have this technology included but it can also be retrofitted into existing structures.

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