Local Residents Tease Neighbor Until Rainstorm Hits

By: Lydia Iseh | Published: Oct 31, 2023

The wind became stronger at the same time the dark gray clouds overshadowed the town. But the smell of gasoline in the air drew the attention of the neighbors. 

They laughed out loud when they noticed Randy Wagner, a homeowner in Texas, pumping nonstop and saw the worm-like tube ascending into the air. But he couldn’t care less. He was sure of what he was doing, and it was only a matter of time till he would have the last laugh.

Randy Wagner

Radney Wagner had always had a different outlook on life and it was all thanks to his father. His dad had never missed an opportunity to let him know that life isn’t a bed of roses. 


Source: AquaDam Inc. / YouTube

Like many other people, Wagner had to work hard for his beautiful home in Rosharon, Texas, and every other nice thing he had. Soon after, one of the most challenging moments came, and it threatened his family’s existence.


The Severe Storm Begins

It was a difficult time for Wagner and his family in May of 2016 when severe storms ravaged Texas. More than just being heavy, it rained non-stop for an entire week. Naturally, Wagner’s worries increased as the water levels rose beyond expectations.


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This made him glued to the news for the latest updates. He hoped against all odds that the storms wouldn’t cause a serious flooding problem.

Unpleasant Reports

Unfortunately, wishes are not horses, and Wagner couldn’t ride on this hope for better days. That’s because, in no time, Brenham County was already flooded and soaked in about 19 inches of rain.


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Besides the flooding, there was another problem — people had started disappearing. This was the one situation Wagner never hoped to be in. He was concerned about what was going to happen next.

Nothing to Worry About

Wagner’s concern grew when he realized that he was only 100 miles away from one of the worst-hit areas. But he was surprised that his neighbors didn’t share in his uncertainty. 


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Besides him, no one else bothered about the storm hitting Brazoria County, where he lived. As usual, Wagner saw things differently and knew he had to take action to save himself and his family.

Saving for the Rainy Day

Instead of paying attention to the flood warnings, many people argued the storms couldn’t be as severe as the predictions read. So, instead of preparing for the storm, they took to social media to show it. By this time, Wagner was already piling up stock for the days ahead.

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It wasn’t long until the relevant authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order for Brazoria County.


Bracing For The Storm

The evacuation order came only a month after the county received its first flood warnings. This was when people started realizing how serious things were. They became concerned, but it was too late already.

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Unlike Wagner, they hadn’t braced up for the flood early enough as they didn’t believe the flooding would be severe. Fortunately for Wagner, the stock of necessities he had piled up was enough to last until the floods subsided.


Standing Strong Through Tough Times

It’s one thing to stockpile for the future and another to effectively move the stock to a new location during a flood. That was the part Wagner hadn’t figured out. But one thing was sure — he wasn’t going to allow the flood to destroy everything he had worked so hard to save.

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He knew he had to be strong at this time and brainstorm how to get through this phase. Fortunately, it didn’t take long before an idea came to mind.


No Time on His Hands

Wagner found a unique solution to his dilemma online, but time wasn’t on his side. He knew that he had to act fast if he wanted the results he had hoped for. Unfortunately, it was unwise to wait for what he needed to be delivered, and many companies had already closed shop.

Source: Joey Longa/ YouTube

So, what was he going to do? He needed enough time to organize things; the same time he didn’t have.


A Hasty Decision

By this time, Wagner’s wife and children were ready for the evacuation, and meteorologists had already announced that the storm could come at any time. They were to get moving as early as possible to avoid becoming the flood victims the news had always talked about.

Source: Joey Longa/ YouTube

It was at this point Wagner did the unimaginable. He rushed into his car and drove off, leaving his family behind.


The Journey

Wagner was headed for Louisiana, and he prayed hard as he drove. He had no idea how much time was on his hands, but one thing was sure — he must reach Louisiana and return home before the downpour started. He estimated that it would take about 8 hours and 30 minutes to arrive at his destination.

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His wife wasn’t happy and thought he had lost his mind. But Wagner had a plan, and he was confident it would work.


Unsafe Circumstances

As Wagner continued on his journey, he witnessed tons of storm damage. He wondered what he would do if he saw one that had already been closed as he traveled. 

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While Wagner had many things to worry about, his topmost prayer was that the roads didn’t close on his way back to Texas. That will be very sad news for him and his family. Thinking about it made him more unsettled.


Wagner's Poor Family

Wagner kept thinking about the consequences of this drastic decision if it failed. His family’s life was at stake if he didn’t return home in time to save them. If they lost their lives because he didn’t have enough time to get back, it would all be on him.

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Even if his family was prepared to evacuate their home without him, it was impossible to do so as he was driving the only car they had. This plan just had to work.


Rushing Back Home

Wagner arrived at his destination and parted with $8,300 in exchange for an 800-pound item loaded carefully on his truck. When his business in Louisiana was concluded, he immediately started the 260-mile trip back home.

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As he journeyed home, he couldn’t help but pray as all his efforts would be wasted if something had already happened to his family.


The Spectacle

When Wagner pulled into his driveway, he could see his neighbors in a hurry to avoid the impending storm. But he wasn’t the least bothered as he set to work without wasting more time.

Source: Joey Longa/ YouTube

He started by positioning tubes around his home’s perimeter and turned on his two gas-powered generators. As people loaded their vehicles to leave, they perceived the smell of fuel. They all gathered to see what the spectacle in Wagner’s yard was about.


Mocking Wagner

At this point, huge and overdue clouds from the south started closing in on the county. Regardless, Wagner’s neighbors and onlookers couldn’t pass off the opportunity to make fun of him. They had the time of their lives mocking him as he paid no mind to them.

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The crowd that gathered had no idea that the joke was on them.


What Was Wagner's Plan?

Instead of evacuating the county, the neighbors thought it better to stand and mock the one man taking creative steps to improve his situation. They just didn’t know it at the time.

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If you’re wondering what Wagner was doing that was more important than evacuating his family at the time, you’re not alone. Let’s find out, shall we?


A Lot of Doubt

Wagner’s wife was as curious as we are right now. So, she walked up to where her husband was and looked surprised at what she saw him doing. She seemed to wonder why he was so stubborn.

Source: The Henry Ford/ YouTube

His wife saw the huge tube but had no idea what it was all about. It looked like a special type of toy or a water wing.


Shouting and Screams

Wagner’s wife did not attempt to help him with what he was doing. Instead, she let her disappointment get the better of her and took to yelling at him.

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She saw no reason why he was wasting his time at the yard when he could have been helping her and the kids evacuate the premises. She had no idea what was coming next. 


The Water Is Coming!

It didn’t take long before military vehicles and airboats arrived in the county and began evacuating the residents. This was because the president of the United States had declared a disaster for Texas.

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Luckily for Wagner, the water had not reached his neighborhood as he tried to put his strange device to work. But the water was surely coming, and he could only be in his yard for so long.


An AquaDam

The strange device Wagner went all the way to Louisiana to obtain was called AquaDam, a contraption that people use in erecting barriers.

Source: The Henry Ford/ YouTube

Wagner had been scouting the internet for a way to protect his prized home from destruction. That’s when he stumbled on AquaDam and decided to check if it could save his beautiful house. Did it? We’ll find out.


More on the AquaDam

The AquaDam Wagner got for his home was a huge, 30-inch tall, and 450-foot long watertight tube. While neighbors attempted to use sandbags to create dams for their properties, Wagner decided to take it up a notch by surrounding his home with a complete barrier.

Source: The Henry Ford/ YouTube

It took him about half a day to erect this contraption. By this time, everyone else had left the county.


It Came Flooding In

Wagner completed his project just in time. That’s because the water came in full force the day after they finished setting up the AquaDam. The water started rising, and Wagner could see it surround other people’s homes.

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When the water hit his neighbors’ dams, it bumped up against them. He hoped that the flood didn’t get more than 30 inches deep.


The Results

As usual, pictures about the happenings in the town started flying around. That was all the news channels focused on. They showed the waterlogged homes and businesses that were thoroughly soaked and were no longer standing after the flood.

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But luckily for Wagner, this wasn’t his fate. His efforts at fixing the contraption around his home paid off, and he was happier for it.


The One Untouched House

While a news channel’s helicopter hovered around the county to obtain footage of what was left, one person’s house stood out. It was Wagner’s. While the surrounding homes were submerged in water, his was as dry as a bone.

Source: The Henry Ford/ YouTube

Wagner’s home was a green island in the center of a brown sea spanning 27 inches. It remained untouched and wasn’t part of the wreckage. He had the AquaDam to thank for this.


How AquaDams Work

Why is the AquaDam very effective in saving homes from floods? The answer is simple — its unique construction. AquaDam comprises water-proof tubes that are placed in a larger tube. This allows the water/flood to be pumped into the tubes.

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It’s just like a large balloon containing two smaller ones. Just like sandbags, the weight presents a barrier that stops the water from entering the house.


Why AquaDam is Different

AquaDam is unique because instead of spending hours filling up sandbags, it uses the flood water at its disposal. As the storm continues, water must continuously be pumped outside the barrier to achieve the desired result.

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While this requires intense labor, it’s very effective. That’s what really matters, right? People are now turning to this special item to save their homes during floods.


How the Story Went Viral

Even if bad news spreads faster than good ones, good news still reaches everyone eventually. Wagner’s story became popular in 2017 after Houston was faced with Hurricane Harvey. Although Wagner’s story happened during the 2016 Tax Day Flood, many people thought the viral pictures were from the hurricane.

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Regardless, it inspired people, especially Texan homeowners, to protect their homes from floods with AquaDam.


Randy and Jennifer Socha

Wagner eventually sold his home and had this to say, “I hope the family is putting it to good use. It is a good product.” Well, if the new owners aren’t, you can be sure that others are. Since his news went viral, it has motivated many homeowners to get their AquaDams, too.

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Randy and Jennifer Socha reside in Rosenberg, Texas, and are among the people that have decided to use AquaDam.


Fighting Water with Water

Randy and Jennifer Socha’s home was exposed to floodwaters in 2016. So, realizing that they were going to live through that experience the second time during Hurricane Harvey was a valid source of concern. 

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They decided they weren’t going to fold their arms anymore and took action by calling AquaDam to install a unit. The Sochas bought the $18,000 model, which is significantly cheaper than remodeling a water-damaged home. “It’s like fighting water with water,” Rocha said.