Harvey Rebuild Recovery

The rain started days before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, and it never stopped. On August 30th around 7am, I received a phone call from my mom who lives in Port Arthur, TX. Her voice was distraught and weary. Water was in the house. It was ankle-deep and the rain outside was pouring. She and my dad began to gather things off the floor to avoid water damage. A few hours later, the water had risen. It was above the knee in height. My mom and dad had no choice but to locate a few important papers, medicine, and a change of clothes before being rescued from the house. Outside, the water was up to their chests. What happened next was a long day of seeking shelter, being asked to leave places that couldn't help those in need, feeling anger, frustration, and confusion, and hoping the rain would stop. It didn't. My sister's house took on water, but she and my nephew remained in the house because the levels didn't force them out; we just wanted to make sure mom and dad were okay. My sister worked tirelessly to take care of everyone she could however she could. I - about 200miles away in College Station - paced the floor all day with my phone in hand. I couldn't physically be there for my family. So, I texted and called my mom and sister throughout the day, and I made contact with police and fire departments in their area. No one could really do much of anything. That was day one.

Over a month has gone by and life has changed. My mom and dad are now living with my sister and nephew. My parents' home of almost 30 years - the family home - is gone. All was lost, and it has been gutted. My sister's home suffered floor and wall damage and loss of furniture. At this time, paperwork upon paperwork has been filled out for assistance; however, that takes time and there are many roadblocks in place. My parents are unable to start working on their house until they are given the green light to do so, and that light is currently red due to local government issues concerning how people will be allowed to rebuild and when and by whom. People are having meetings to decide when homeowners can go home to rebuild; furthermore, there are debates going on about homeowners having to pay for home inspections when they have nothing left to give.

One of the tips in creating a gofundme explains, "Describe what is needed." Donations are simply to help parents and a family after a natural disaster: home repair, clothing, furniture ... the basics for an attempt to return to a somewhat stable living. Another tip states, "Do your best to estimate the costs." The costs include rebuilding an entire home and everything inside that was lost with it, and another that suffered foundational damage. That number cannot be estimated. The material possessions will not be replaced, and this is not about things that were purchased. This is simply about my parents' desire to get back to their home and work on its rebuild. It's about assistance for the home of my sister who has been the physical shelter for my parents and situational bedrock of the family during this time. 

If you wish to help, all is appreciated. The funds will be delivered to my parents and sister to help with rebuilding and repair of their homes. And I know this is just one story from the narratives that have been written since Harvey, Irma, Maria . . . but it's one I'm sharing.

Donations ()

  • Wally Klinski 
    • $25 
    • 28 mos
  • Jacob Bratcher 
    • $25 
    • 29 mos
  • Dylan Rosser 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
  • Jon Luttrell 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
  • Adam hutsell 
    • $20 
    • 29 mos
See all

Organizer

Ethan James 
Organizer
College Station, TX
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