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The Slezak Family Overcomes the Destruction Caused by Hurricane Irene

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The Slezaks Overcome Hurricane Irene

Host George Oliphant and Ashlee Anthony shopping at BoConcept

The destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Irene was never more prevalent than in Paterson, New Jersey. Namely the townhouse of Norman Slezak. Caring for his ailing elderly mother in his childhood home, Norman tenaciously stood his ground as flood waters crept closer and higher. Eventually, when the conditions became increasingly dire, local authorities intervened and forced Norman, his mother, and dog into a boat and to a safety zone.

The toll taken on the property was worse than originally thought—irreparable structural damage deemed the home all but worthless. To add insult to injury, as Norman transported and cared for his mother in a nursing home, his home was robbed, time and again, by looters capitalizing on the disaster. Sentimental items, valuables, and all of Norman's worldly possessions (save a few boxes) were either ruined from the flood or were in the hands of thieves.

With nowhere to go, Norman was invited into the home of his loving daughter, Kim Slezak. Living in a modest condo with her boyfriend, space is at a premium and quarters for an additional occupant are minimal. Seeing the desperate situation unfolding in front of her eyes, Karen (Norman's ex-wife/Kim’s mother) wrote in to "George to the Rescue" hoping for a solution that will keep Kim and Norman's living situation comfortable and functional.

George called upon Brinton Brosius and Ashlee Anthony, a husband-wife contractor and designer duo that knows all too well the importance of family togetherness. The glaring issue was transforming the basement from a storage room to a livable area. Tapping BoConcept to furnish the basement turned bedroom was the only viable option for solving the storage and space issues. Each furniture piece was chosen with transformability and versatility in mind. From the gray Sazza sofa that turns into a daybed to the queen-sized bed that lifts up for storage, Norman’s new living space ensures the perfect mix of design and functionality.

Tune in this weekend on NBC to see the final space. Follow @george2rescue for more.


The before photo of the basement serving as a storage space in the Slezak family's home.

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