A year after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, victims still face long recovery
16 August 2018
In the midst of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, families in Texas are still struggling to recover from the calamitous floods brought by Hurricane Harvey in late August of last year.
The storm dumped more than 40 inches of rain in coastal areas over a four-day period, displacing more than 30,000 people and inflicting over $150 billion in damage. Texas lawmakers and officials estimated the state would need $121 billion in federal assistance to rebuild public infrastructure and housing but acknowledged the state wouldn’t get anywhere near the sum required.
The federal government has virtually abandoned the victims of the storm, providing only a small fraction of the required aid. Only last month, 11 months after the storm made landfall, Congress and the Trump administration approved $5 billion for recovery aid, little of which has actually reached struggling families.
Chris, a flood victim in Southwest Houston, had been living with her mother until their home flooded. “I’ve been staying with my grandma ever since Harvey,” she said. “I have to work and take care of her because she’s sick too.”
Chris explained that her family was lucky enough to receive aid so they could rebuild their home but said recovering has still been slow. Assistance granted by state and federal agencies has been limited, so many victims have had to bear the costs themselves while still struggling with day-to-day life.
Following last year’s flood, thousands of residents were forced to elevate their homes to protect against future flooding. Families often have to pay six figures to raise their homes six feet off the ground. A report by the Texas…