Tybee finds hope: New plan for structure raising - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tybee finds hope: New plan for structure raising

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Flooded homeowners on Tybee Island have had enough. 

Residents are now calling on outside sources because at this point, they say they need all the help they can get. We met with a man who has a potential house-saving tactic - a plan some Tybee residents didn't know was possible. 

In coastal areas, we see homes on piling all the time, but Tybee residents and even the Building Commission tell us they had no idea you could separate a home on a slab and then raise it. 

"Ninety percent of houses on this street are just slab houses. They were not built in a good place to start with, and eventually, the ocean is in their living room," said John Landers, Jr., Hercules House Movers. 

Meet John Landers...the man behind the madness. 

"After 44 years, you've seen just about everything you can think of," he said. 

Landers has an idea to help the residents. Many of them have never thought about his plan. 

"They found out, 'I can lift the slab up off the house and get it the right height and not have to go through again,' he said. 

Here's how. 

"Recommendation is to pick the house up off the slab, leave the slab down because it's an unknown, pick the house up and put a normal wooden floor system in, and you're better off," he said. 

Right now, there are homes on Tybee sitting on the ground on top of concrete slabs. What Landers wants to do is physical raise the homes, separating them from the slab and add pilings in between and then a separate wooden floor between the pilings and the home for better support. 

"They'll go through the slab and into the ground, with footings down there," he said. 

The list of people getting on board is growing daily. 

"They've asked me to give them a call and they've been calling me all day to get next in line," said Landers. 

On that list is Jill Ebrecht. 

"He described how he would lift my house for me, which was really nice to know there's hope," she said. 

Hurricanes Matthew and Irma were Cat 1 storm when they hit Lewis Avenue. She says that's all it took to destroy her home. 

"It'd be nice to have it up there, so a Cat 2 or 3 wouldn't bother it," Ebrecht said. 

At this point, another hurricane, another catastrophe is not a risk they can afford. 

Landers tells us a lot of peoples' first thought is 'I can't afford this,' but he says this will be more cost-effective in the long run.

For more information on the structure raising, click here. 

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