Carolyn Van Houten (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Domestic Picture Story
The Bamberger family lost their home, their business and most of their belongings in the floods that hit Texas on Memorial Day weekend in 2015. This story follows the Bambergers as they rebuild their home after the river behind their home took everything except their lives away.
Glenda Bamberger looks out of the back door of her home in Blanco, Texas on Friday, May 29, 2015 after flash floods destroyed her home, her husband's business and most of her family's belongings. Bamberger, who was born and raised in Blanco, said, "We put everything into buying this house and now I am not sure we will want to rebuild."
Cielo Bamberger, 10, and Esmebella Bamberger, 9 months, hang on their mother Glenda Bamberger while their sister Serenity Bamberger, 7, digs in the dirt outside of their trailer on their property in Blanco, Texas on July 1, 2015. The family is living in the trailer, which is parked in front of their flood-damaged home, while they build a new house on eight-foot pillars on the same property. Despite the pain that the river along the property caused, the family decided to try to rebuild. The dog, known as Buddy or Bear, showed up on their property after the floods and has stayed since. Glenda said that she thinks he was carried far from his home in the floods, because none of their neighbors in the area have claimed him.
Glenda Bamberger rubs her forehead while she looks at a receipt for the sand and rocks needed to make the cement for the pillars that will hold up their new house. The supplier only delivered a portion of the order and the Bambergers were concerned about whether they had enough to finish pouring all of the cement pillars that day. She and her husband Jarrell Bamberger drove to the sand and rock supplier to ask for the delivery of the rest of the order in Blanco, Texas on July 11, 2015. The supplier was closed when they arrived. Before her parents left to see the supplier, Cielo Bamberger, 10, said, "I always heard the saying 'cheap as dirt,' but this dirt ain't cheap."
Jarrell Bamberger talks to his wife Glenda Bamberger about what they need to start building their home while their daughter Esmebella, 9 months, sits in their shopping cart at Home Depot in Bulverde, Texas on July 10, 2015. They began construction on their new home the next day.
Glenda Bamberger shops for wood for her new house at Home Depot in Bulverde, Texas on July 11, 2015. The money that the Bambergers received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was almost gone. Glenda was concerned about how she would be able to pay for the rest of the building supplies. "I don't know what I am going to do," she said. "We may have to sell the trailer, but then where do we live?"
Glenda Bamberger, right, and her husband Jarrell Bamberger, left, widen holes dug in their yard in Blanco, Texas on July 11, 2015. Their home was destroyed in the floods that occurred in May along the Blanco River in Central Texas. They poured a concrete pillar in each of the twelve holes for the house they are building to replace the one that flooded. The house will be eight feet off the ground in the hope that it will not be affected by future floods on their property.
After receiving donations from several flood and disaster relief organizations from around the country, the Bambergers were able to continue working on the house without having to sell the trailer they are living in. Glenda Bamberger and her daughter Cielo Bamberger spin around in what will eventually be Cielo's bedroom in their new house in Blanco, Texas on August 22, 2015.
Serenity Bamberger floats in the Little Blanco River along their property on August 18, 2015 in Blanco, Texas. Three months prior, the same river flooded their home and business destroying the majority of the family's belongings. Despite the toll the river has taken, Bertha Rivera, Serenity's grandmother, said, "The river bed was dry for years, so now that the water is here I tell the girls to take advantage of it all that they can."