Hello. We thank you for reading our Hurricane Harvey story.
We are Meredith and Stephen Hester, newlyweds from Houston, Texas. We just got married on 8/26/17. That was the day that Harvey hit Texas and it was heading to Houston. We have three teenage children between us. During the night of our wedding our home was hit very hard. We had to evacuate our home the next morning with our 19 year old daughter on Sunday 8/27, as the flood waters from Buffalo Bayou rushed into our house (we live near Beltway 8 and Memorial Drive). We hiked out of our neighborhood in waist/chest high water with just the clothes on our backs, the dog and that’s about it. our home is in a neighborhood that had to be intentionally flooded by the Houston reservoir releases that feed into the buffalo bayou. Our home has never flooded before. As of 8/30, we had 4+ feet of water in our house and the entrance to our neighborhood was completely impassable, except by boat. Our entire first floor and our cars (both total losses) have been sitting in at least 4 feet of water for 10 days and our neighborhood is so flooded that even on 9/4 it was blocked off and totally inaccessible unless by boat- so it still cannot be assessed by FEMA or car insurance. We have no flood insurance so nothing on our property is covered by insurance. Very few have it since it never floods there. We bought a canoe and waders and paddled into our home on 8/31 and again on 9/2 and it was just total devastation. We are in a dire situation. The water finally receded enough on 9/6 to go in and fully access the home and all of the damage. Start the process of cutting out all our walls and throwing all our things away. We are now dealing with making FEMA claims. Our honeymoon is now canceled, our car rentals are limited, and we are still finding temporary housing for 3-6 months. We are in a hotel right now with our dog. We also have medical issues/concerns as the stress caused me to have a painfully inflamed nerve in my face to where I'm now getting steroid infusions intravenously each day. We both have demanding jobs and we need to try to get back to work, as we also deal with this tragedy and all the loss. We've lost all HVAC, electrical, furniture, dry wall, doors , kitchen appliances, etc. and the whole house is already becoming covered with mold. The recovery will be long.
Any help you can offer us would be greatly appreciated. Funding would be used for temporary housing for us and our dog (15 year old sweet Zoe!) for 3-6 months as we are told it will take at least that long to fix our house back to a livable state. We also need food, ongoing transportation, major home repairs and restoration, mold remediation, and replacement of our totally destroyed electrical systems, HVAC, walls, woodwork, and our medical needs.
Thank you so kindly for your help in any way. We fully intend to pay it forward by helping others once we are on our feet again. More pictures of our damages are going to be uploaded.
Meredith and Stephen Hester
- Bob Engel
- Ali Ettehadieh
- Jennifer Van Houten
- Robert Epperson
Meredith Smith Hester