We are a family of 4. Myself, My Husband Luis, our daughter Gabby, and our son Lucas. We moved into our brand new double wide in the middle of July. Finally both kids had their own rooms. As the rain kept coming we evacuated my dog and my truck (since it's lower) to my moms house because the ground was flooded about a foot deep. That night we all slept in the livingroom and I got a FB message about 12am on 8/27 asking me if we had water at the house. I wasn't thinking so I checked our faucets. Then I looked outside and water was already over our 2nd step which was up to the bottoms of my husbands 2 trucks. I woke him up and we decided it was best to go ahead and evacuate to keep the kids safe. We got out in the flooding and moved the trucks to the road. I went back in to pack as much clothes as possible for all of us and let the kids pack a small bag of their stuff to save just in case. My husband was working to get my moms tractor out to the road and get the trailer to haul it out. He came to the door with our tractor and got us out of the house in the tractor bucket. We got everything but our tractor loaded and headed to my moms. We dropped off 1 truck & tractor and the kids with my mom and went back for our tractor because it was at the road and we didn't want anyone to hit it. We tried to be responsible and we rode the tractor all the way back to shut off the electricity and tied down the AC unit so that it didn't float away. We left the cat and the tortoise in the house thinking we wouldn't traumatize them and we'd be able to come get them in the morning. Little did we know that the rain would not stop and it would be about 4 days we would be able to get into our house. We tried every day to be able to get back to get the cat out of the house and assess damages but the water was too high and of course we forgot about my moms canoe. Finally the water went down enough to canoe to the house from the road and get the cat out and see what we had lost. Nothing hit me as hard as when I had to dump water out of the guitar that my father who passed away left for my daughter. On 9/3 we started ripping up molded carpet, molded sheetrock, molded insulation, and doors. At that point, we didn't even realize that we had lost one of my husband's trucks. Currently we are waiting on the insurance company's decision on if the damage was flood related or not. We did not have flood insurance because we received a FEMA letter that stated we were not in a flood zone or special flood plane and since Chambers county hasn't flooded in 500 years, we did not get flood insurance. Our insurance company has denied our claim because all damage was done by the flood, but they told my husband that they would send us $50 to cover the groceries we lost. FEMA has given us assistance as of 10/13. They gave us a little over $16,000 for house repairs and replacement household items and almost $3,000 to help with 2 months of rent. The SBA sent me a letter stating that we qualify for a loan for $59,000 for 30 years with monthly payments of $220.00 a month. The loan breakdown is as follows: $13,600 for personal property, $44,600, for Mobile Home Replacement, and $800 for real estate repair or replacement. Now before that loan can be accepted, we have to resubmit everything because of what FEMA has granted us. However, the amount of possible loan help isn't the issue, the issue is that when we took on our new home, we doubled the monthly mortgage payment that we are paying. We are really at the top end of our budget with it and are not able to add on another $220. Not to mention, that if we accept the loan, we must add Flood & Hazard insurance to our home which would increase the monthly mortgage amount even more. We did get $400 from the red cross and we have received DSNAP for 2 months to help with groceries. That was EXTREMELY helpful since I missed a week and a half of work and did not have enough PTO time accrued to cover it and my husband also lost a week and a half of work. We are currently staying at my moms, THANKFULLY. So the kids are sleeping on the couch and we are sleeping in my moms room. We had a contractor come out Monday to give us a quote, but as of the moment, we have not heard from him as to how much the repairs will be. We have to have the following repaired:
1.Underbelly insulation and moisture barrier 2.Air conditioning ducts run through the whole house 3.New floor in the whole house ( previous floor was OSB and is bowed like a roller coaster after soaking up septic contaminated water for 4 days) 4.Insulation in all the walls 5.New sheet rock taped and floated throughout the house 6.New cabinets in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room 7.We have to have the AC/Furnace checked out 8.We have to have the water heater checked out 9.The whole house needs to be mold sprayed and KILLZ because of the mold that is growing (this worries me about missing things because my daughter has asthma and I worry that from now on when she coughs, am I going to have to worry that something was missed?) 10.Paint 11.New flooring 12.Electrical outlets have to be checked 13. Have to take the porch and put it back where it is supposed to be since Harvey decided to take it from 1 side of the property to the other
Of course none of this includes the furniture that has to be replaced, but that can be replaced piece by piece.
Even with all the loss, we know that we are very lucky. We could have lost our lives, we could have lost all of our vehicles, we could have had nowhere to go to evacuate, we could be sleeping in our cars, but we are not and we are very thankful that we have what we do. Before we knew what our damage was, we did what we could for the local shelters and volunteered where we could because we knew we were blessed. We have gone and helped our neighbors do demo as well because they lost everything we did. This has all been quite overwhelming.
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- KELLY DARNELL
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