Randy Wagner worked hard to build his home in Texas. Sadly, forces beyond his control were about to take it away from him and his family. So, Randy decided to do something drastic, something that had his neighbors laughing.
The thing is, Randy knew it would work.
Randy's Neighbors Were Not Impressed
It didn't take long for Randy Wagner's neighbors to gather around his property. Not only was the smell of gasoline filling the air, but he was wrestling with a big black tube, trying his best to get it into the proper position for his project.
The jeering didn't phase him, though. He just kept his thoughts on the howling wind and the ugly-looking sky overhead.
Working Hard Was In His Blood
Randy had always worked hard for what he had, a trait he learned from his father. Now, he had a modest home for his family and a piece of land in Rosharon, Texas.
Unfortunately, forces beyond anyone's control were about to take all of it away. But Randy wasn't going to give it all up without a fight.
2016 Brought A Horrible Storm
In 2016, there were horrible storms throughout Texas, bringing buckets of rain, thunderstorms, hail, and fierce winds.
According to the Office of the Texas State Climatologist College of Geoscience, on April 17, 2016, "Ten to 15 inches of rain in less than 12 hours produced devastating flooding in western Houston in an event that became known as the "Tax Day Flood."' And that was just the beginning.
Billions In Property Damages
That horrible flooding was exactly where Randy and his family lived. Their home was most likely going to be swept away and included in the billions of dollars worth of property damages caused by the storm.
Thankfully, Randy was pretty hands-on and had an idea that would potentially save his family's house from the horrible flooding.
People Weren't Taking The Storm Seriously
The storm was approaching, but people weren't preparing for the scale of it. When Randy heard the report of just how massive the storm was forecasted to be, it had already reached Brenham County, just 100 miles away from where he lived.
By then, the county was covered in 19 inches of rain. Weirdly enough, people weren't taking the storm too seriously. But Randy was.
Randy Was Busy Grabbing Supplies
Even when flood warnings began to roll in, people weren't taking them seriously. Randy, on the other hand, was busy stocking up on supplies. Still, he couldn't believe it when he heard neighbors saying, "The storm can't possibly be that bad."
Those thoughts came to a halt when a mandatory evacuation was ordered.
Mandatory Evacuations Happened Next
In June 2016, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for Brazoria County. Finally, Randy's neighbors had to take the storm seriously. That meant leaving their homes without supplies since they didn't stock up or search for safer ground.
While his neighbors packed their cars and hoped for the best, Randy stayed put.
Randy Wasn't About To Leave
Randy wasn't about to leave his home and everything he'd worked so hard for. It was all going to be washed away if he did.
So, he stayed put and hopped on the internet, hoping there would be something useful that would help him keep his home safe from the storm.
The Answer: An Aquadam
After searching the internet, Randy came across something that was, hypothetically speaking, going to save his house from flooding -- an aquadam.
The only problem was that the equipment wouldn't reach his home for a few days, and it would take some time to set up. He was out of time and options.
He Drove To Louisiana For The Equipment
While his family was gearing up to evacuate with the rest of the county, Randy left in his car, driving towards Louisiana. He hoped he'd find the equipment he was looking for there.
Unfortunately, it would take him about eight and a half hours. And that was just one way!
Was He Going To Make It Back In Time?
Randy's wife told him he was crazy and, racing towards Louisiana and trying to beat a storm; he very well might be.
The biggest issue in the back of Randy's mind was if his plan didn't work, his family had no way of getting out. They only had one car, and Randy happened to be in it.
The Equipment Cost $8,300 In Cash
After spending $8,300 in cash, Randy was racing back home, hoping he could make the 260-mile trip before the storm reached his town. In his truck was an 800-pound package he hoped was the answer to everything.
Finally, he got home and, watching his neighbors scrambling, unloaded the 450-foot long contraption from his truck bed.
His Neighbors Got Curious
After unloading the equipment, Randy began to position the tubes around the perimeter of his home. It wasn't until he revved up two gasolene pumps that his neighbors began to take an interest in what he was doing.
Halting their evacuation, Randy's neighbors gathered around and soon began to laugh at Randy's project.
The Sceptics Began To Talk
Randy was trying to do the impossible -- beat Mother Nature at her own game. His neighbors thought he was crazy. He literally heard some of them saying, "What isn't he leaving?" and "He's crazy."
But it was when he began to fill the big black tubes with water that he really got a reaction out of the growing crowd.
Randy's Wife Was Not Pleased
It was then that Randy's wife finally came out of the house. Needless to say, she wasn't overly thrilled to see her husband outfitting their property with an oversized tube. She had no idea what was going on.
All she knew was that he was supposed to be helping her get the kids ready for evacuation.
The Brazos River Flooded
While Randy was getting his contraption ready, the President had declared a state of emergency and sent military personnel and vehicles to help evacuate the people of Brazoria County.
Not only that but the Brazos River flooded, sending waves of water through the streets. Randy was running out of time.
The Aquadam Was 30-Inches Tall And 450-Feet Long
The contraption Randy was putting together in his yard was an aquadam, a watertight tube that was 30 inches tall and 450 feet long. If everything went according to plan, the aquadam would keep the water away from his house and property.
It took him half a day to complete the project.
One Day Later, The Water Arrived
The flooding arrived in his neighborhood just one day later, and Randy watched as the water level began to rise. By that time, his neighbors were long gone. He was the only one left.
He prayed the aquadam would hold but knew that if the water level reached more than 30 inches deep, he'd made a grave mistake.
There Was A Small Green Island
Pictures and reports of the storm's destruction began airing across the nation. The flooding was unbelievable with homes and business waterlogged and under 27-inches of muddy water.
With news helicopters panning the destruction and filming the area, one spot stood out among the rest -- a small green island with a house in the center.
The Aquadam Worked
As it turned out, Randy's last-minute aquadam worked! His home was left untouched by the horrific flooding of 2016. While his neighbors laughed at him and mocked his project, Randy wound up having the last laugh.
While his neighbors had returned to destroyed homes, Randy was literally living high and dry on his own private island.