Sanwarwala - Harvey Relief Fund

Hello friends,

My name is Samina and I live with my 2 kids (9 year old boy and 5 year old girl) and husband in the Riverstone community, Sugarland. Most of you already know our story, but for those of you who do not, our house got flooded during Hurricane Harvey and we are currently displaced. We got more than 2 feet of water in our house, which remained stagnant for almost a week and there is a good 3-6 months duration in front of us before we can actually move back into the house.

On the afternoon of Aug 28, our area was declared as a mandatory evacuation zone but we could not leave as the evacuation order came at the very last minute and the entrance of our subdivision had more than 4 feet of water by then. We had less than 2 hours to evacuate and we failed to do so. We had to turn and stay put in the house. We decided to stay on the 2nd story for the night but as the water level kept rising , my son started feeling uneasy and had a panic attack. He refused to sit, or even take off his shoes. He would not move from the entrance of the house. We had already called 911 by then but they were swamped with the number of callers and by 8 pm, the only way to be rescued from our house was through a boat. Danish (my son), stood constantly at the entrance with a flash light, waiving at every single boat that passed by. Many boats came and left and we waited for our turn until the one that came to our rescue at 2 am in the morning. By then the water was already 2-3 inches in the house. We were taken to a boat docking station, from where we were transported into a truck, to a gas station, to a bus, and to a shelter at almost 5 am in the morning. We had bare minimum stuff - clothing and food with us. At 7 am, we were taken to another shelter which was a permanent one.

We were then picked up by a friend who had a high clearance vehicle, and stayed with them for a week. We gained access to our house after 1 week and when we entered, almost everything was in a tear down state on the first floor - floor, cabinets, carpet, appliances, furniture, walls, everything. We are currently staying at an apartment with a 3 months lease and need to get the rebuild started as soon as possible. one month has already passed and only 2 months remain before our lease ends.

We do not have a flood insurance, no home owner's insurance would cover any damage due to flood, and are pretty much looking at a cost of ~80K excluding personal propoerty damage like furniture and appliances. But our goal right now is 10K so we can at least start the rebuild, get the essentials like walls and floors done so we can move back in and offer some normalcy to our kids. Our lease will end mid December and we have no place else to be other than our house which we bought just 2 years back. This event and the displacement has taken a toll on my family emotionally, as well as physically. FEMA has denied us completely due to some glitch in their system which tells them that we have flood insurance which is not true and we are stuck in the appeal process that takes anywhere between 30 and 45 days to resolve the issue.

Your help at this time will offer some peace of mind and will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!
Samina Sanwarwala
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Organizer

Samina Sanwarwala 
Organizer
Sugar Land, TX
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