We lost EVERYTHING in Harvey.

$9,150 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 62 people in 13 months
We lost everything to Harvey. Recovering is difficult when you are young, even more so at 68.
And when I say everything we escaped with just the clothes on our back. I did manage to get my lap top out but that was about it. Past that 3 pair of underwear, one pair of pants, one pair of shorts and 3 T-shirts. Someone I forgot socks! Well, we were in a hurry.  I am grateful we survived as there was a point I was questioning if we would make it.  Had it not been for great neighbors we would not have gotten out.  It is hard to describe what that was like, I'm still trying to process that and probably will be for months if not years.
So many people have reached out to help us with things like mattresses, sheets, towels, clothing so that stuff is pretty well covered and I can never thank you all enough. 
People continue to ask how they can help and at this point what we need more than anything is cash.  We've found a place to live in the interim. The authorities tell us it will be weeks before we can even get in to survey the damage much less begin repairs.  We are looking at an extended stay of probably six months with expenses we never meant to incur.   Thinking about it is just overwhelming.
Quite simply we need help.  There are thousands of people like us. We need help. I have a ten-year-old grandson living with me, my wife, my oldest daughter and her husband and we are all working but the expenses are just mountainous.    
In all candor, I have no idea how much money we will need when all is said and done. God willing we will be able to rebuild and put our lives back together.  Anything you can do would be appreciated. 
I have hesitated to do this but so many people have asked how they can help and this is the only way I can think of to make it easy to help.
God bless you all during this trying time for everyone living along the Texas Gulf Coast.
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Well it has been months since my last “Harvey” update and honestly there just isn’t much to report. Wright National Flood Insurance is plodding through my claim so now almost four months after the flood we are no closer to a resolution than we were the day of the flood.
The house is down to studs and concrete floors, we did put in insulation but ran out of money after that. They are even haggling over the contents portion of the insurance claiming they only should pay for things actually “touched” by the water. Never mind ever piece of clothing in the house was moldy beyond being cleaned or saved. Never mind the house sat it a few feet of sewage filled toxic water. It’s all good! SO sayeth the Wright National Flood Insurance company. I want to make sure I get that name out there.
Now I would feel picked on except that almost everyone I speak with that had flood insurance seems to be in the same boat. Nobody seems to be getting their houses fixed except those that went with the FEMA recommended SBA loans.
At this point I’ve thrown up my hands, I’ll leave it in God’s hands, not a damn thing I can do to make these people move any faster. They have over 200 pictures and video of the damage. I’m just not sure what more we could provide. And what a stark contrast to the insurance company that handled my car claim. Took the adjustor less than five minutes to call in a total loss and I had a check for full value in less than three days, Hats off to Met Life.
Looking at the impact of Harvey that you don’t see, lots of businesses will simply not survive. The old “only the strong survive” is proving to be true. I lost my most favorite client to Harvey but they had suffered four floods in three years. Harvey was just the last nail in the coffin.
This isn’t very cheery is it? I’m sorry I don’t sugarcoat very well these days. I will certainly be glad to put 2017 in the rear-view mirror with hopes that 2018 will be a much more positive year for everyone I know.
While our living arrangements are not ideal, we do have a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes or our back and better off that 95% of the world so it is hard to complain. God willing, in time, this will all get sorted out.
Yes we are celebrating Christmas just like any other year just with a much smaller tree
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Well, a month and about a week since Harvey’s flooding put three and a half to four feet of water in my house where it sat for ten days they have begun picking up all the worldly possessions of mine and my neighbors on my street and carting them off to the refuse heap.
I have to say it makes me feel better for the future to see that stuff off the lawns and sidewalks, it speaks of recovery and I think inspires everyone. It means we are one more step closer to home, my house, my home.
IF my calculations are correct only seven more months to go, IF is the key word there
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Today we are one day closer to normalcy than we were yesterday. Make no mistake the road ahead is long and far from easy and we will not see our home for many months. But thanks to the generosity, kindness and compassion of so many people we can laugh a little, smile and whatever tears we have they are of gratitude.
Today will be pretty normal. Dominic has a football game at noon. He lost all his gear in the flood but thanks to the team and the league they managed to find the stuff he needs. And at two he has a dentist appointment. That’s pretty darn normal right?
The neighborhood is still trying to get all the trash removed. The MUD district hired a firm to compliment the work of the county so it is going much faster thankfully. You can’t let debris stand for a month without fear of disease etc. so getting the stuff cleared away is a top priority.
Mail service has been restored. Let that sink in, a full month after this disaster we finally start getting mail again. Maybe that will help you fathom how bad this really is. I feel for my neighbors, all 721, just like me, wiped out with everything you own, gone. Oh sure we all salvaged some things but by and large everything is gone. I was able to get some sentimental stuff but man everything else is gone gone gone. The house is down to studs and concrete floors. That’s what you call a clean slate! Now multiply that by thousands and you get a picture of what happened to the Houston area and the Gulf Coast. We are only one of many and most likely more fortunate than the majority.
So how do you prevent this from happening again is a common question. Most likely you can’t, unless you can figure out how to tame a hurricane. I do not see THAT as a logical solution. So how do you minimize this type of damage?
Well, if you are the Houston area the impacted counties of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery and Brazoria need to work together to find ways to keep people from flooding. That seems simply enough. But decades of urban sprawl with little or no accountability expected from builders and developers have left us with miles and miles on concrete and not place for the water to go.
On my side of town the reservoirs and levees built to protect were built in the 1940’s. So roughly sixty years ago and no updates? Hello? This was a disaster waiting to happen and now that it has we are faced with the daunting task of how to retrofit a solution after sixty years of neglect.
I imagine most of those that kicked this can down the road are already dead and really there is no solutions to be found in finger pointing. What we, as a city and area need, is leadership. Someone to tell us the truth, tell us what the price tag is and how soon can we get it fixed. We need a concerted effort by all counties that felt the brunt of this storm.
More flood insurance is not the answer. That’s a band aid, we need a transplant
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Well yesterday they finally started removing all the trash off the lawns on my street so hopefully the neighborhood will look less like a war zone soon.
I'm not supposed to go back in because the air is so funky but I kept the AC on recirculate and just drove through on Sunday.
Imagine if you will the life possessions of every person in a neighborhood being piled up on the street. That is what you see street after street and for some all you hear are cries of despair.
No help from FEMA, no help from the Red Cross, basically we have become yesterday's news and the focus has moved on to other areas.
Some of our neighbors are just giving up and walking away. I don't think they care or realize the damage they are doing to themselves financially.
I don't have any choice. I'm too old to walk away, I don't have five to twelve years to rebuild my credit. I just want my house back.
Estimate is still 8 months before I get back in. Adjustor approved some preliminary monies but that's just to cover what has been spent on the house so far, removal of sheetrock, drying out of the property. It would help if we'd get a dry spell but it rained again yesterday. A lack of humidity and Houston do not often go together.
Just not sure what to expect and I guess the uncertainty IS the biggest issue. I'd like to thank everyone who has pitched in to help. I'm hoping I can sustain 8 months out of the house. Time will tell.
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Raised by 62 people in 13 months
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