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A Family Returns Home After Hurricane Harvey (HBO)

Harvey’s drenching rains are moving east after days over the Houston area. Which means that in America’s fourth-largest city, floodwaters have begun to creep down—offering a first look at the storm’s real legacy of destruction.

According to FEMA data, only 20 percent of the people in the hardest-hit areas have flood insurance. Homeowners whose houses were flooded may be able to get grants from FEMA, but those grants are only available to people whose homes are completely unlivable, and they typically cover only a fraction of repair costs. Homeowners can apply for a federal loan to cover the cost of rebuilding, which effectively means taking out a second mortgage on their homes.

Tens of thousands may decide to relocate altogether.

But right now, all of those decisions are impossibly remote, and for the families venturing out of Houston’s shelters, there’s one consuming imperative: assess the damage. VICE News traveled with a Houston family as they returned home for the first time since the storm:

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41 thoughts on “A Family Returns Home After Hurricane Harvey (HBO)

  1. BEFORE KATRINA, FEMA HAD STOCKPILED MONEY AND TRAILERS. I WORKED AT A PLACE WHERE WE SERVED THOSE AND PLACED THOSE VICTIMS. ALMOST ALL OF KATRINA VICTIMS HAD $8400.00 CHECKS FROM FEMA FOR EACH FAMILY MEMBER.
    3 SISTERS LIVED TOGETHER AND ONE PAID UP A HOTEL FOR A YEAR FOR THE 3 OF THEM. THE OTHER BOUGHTY A NEW CADILLAC. THE 3RD SISTER BOUGHT 8400 BUX OF FOOD AND PLACED IT IN STORAGE. I KNOW CAUSE I WAS THERE WITH THEM
    OTHERES CASHED THEIR CHECKS AND DID GOD KNOWS WHAT WITH THEM. MAYBE NOT WHAT WAS EXPECTED OF THEM BUT THEY DID GET PAID.
    THAT WAS YEARS AGO AND AS THE FUNDS GREW IN THE FEMA ACCOUNT SOMEONE WAS WITHDRAWING IT JUST AS FAST. AUTOMATIC WITHDRAWAL. DRAINING THE FEMA MONEY ALL THE YEARS UNTIL HARVEY CAME ALONG. SO WHEN HARVEY CAME ALONG FEMA WAS BROKE. FEMA EMPLOYEES WERE ALL PARTIED OUT. NICE AND FAT COWS.
    THEY PARTIED SO HARD ON OUR FUNDS THEY DIDNT SEE HARVEY COMING AND ACTUALLY DIDNT CARE.
    SO WHEN HARVEY HIT FEMA HAD TO SECRETLY GET EMERGENCY LOANS AND HAD TO REMAIN SILENT ABOUT THE RIPOFF WHILE THEY HURRIEDLY SENT OUT VOUCHERS THE 1ST WEEK OF THE STORM THEM SHUT DOWN AFTER THAT. NO ONE ELSE WAS ABOUT TO GET INVOLVED WITH FEMA KNOWING THEY WERE BROKE.. BUT THEY WERENT BROKE ENOUGH TO NOT HIRE OUT PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE THUGS TO ANSWER PHONELINES AND DENY YOU ANY INFO AND REFUSED TO ASSIGN CASE MANAGERS EVEN A YEAR LATER. I ASKED A FEMA THUG WHY NO CASR MANAGERS AND HE SAID THERES TOO MANY PEOPLE. I SAID WELL…………….. DHS MANAGES TO ASSIGN ALL FOODSTAMP RECIEPIENTS CASE MANAGERS. LOL
    HE DIDNT LIKE THAT RESPONSE. THE REASON WE DONT GET CASE MANAGERS IS BECASUE THOSE MGRS WOULD HAVE THE JOB OF SECURING OUR FUNDS . BUT THERES NO FUNDS TO SECURE. SO CASE MANAGERS WOULD BE A TOTAL WASTE.
    THERES ONY 5 MONTHS LEFT BEFORE THE 18 MONTH TIME LIMIT IS UP. SO AFTER THAT FEMA WILL WASH THEIR HANDS OF US "UNDESIRABLES" AND GO BACK TO WHAT THEY DO BEST……..BELLY UP AT BENNIGANS AND DRINK ALE AND EAT LOBSTER WITH OUR FUNDS.
    OR TAKE VACATIONS TO VERACRUZ. WHATEVER THEY DESIRE. AFTER ALL ITS FREE MONEY. THEY FIGURE WHY THE HEL SHOULD THEY GIVEIT TO US WHEN WE JUST GONNA PARTY WITH IT? WELL THEYRE PARTIENG WITH IT AINT THEY? LOL
    SOON AS JAN 1ST COMES AROUND THEYLL GET ANOTHER FEDERAL DEPOSIT IN THE FEMA ACCOUNT AND SCOOP THAT UP AND CONTINUE THE "YACHT CLUB" DRINKING AND EATING DANCEOFF LOL
    YES SOME OF YOU GOT MONEY AND GOT 12 MONTH VOUCHERS ANS YADI YADI YADA BUT 85 PERCENT OF US ONLY GOT 1500.00 BUX WHEN WE LOST OUR HOMES. THE STAFFORD ACT OF 1988 AYS OUR HOMES WERE TO BE REPLACED NO MATTER WHAT EVEN IF FEMA GOES BROKE. SOMETHING HAS TO HAPPEN. BUT ITS ONLY HAPPENING FOR THE FIRST ONES WHO APPLIED LIKE EMS AND SUCH. AND IF YOU READ ALL THE PAGES ONLINE AFROM FEMAS OWN WEBSITE IT STATES THAT NO MATTER WHAT A HOTEL OR APT. FEMA IS SUPPOSED TO HELP AND REPLACE YOUR HOUSE OR TRAILER. BUT FEMA TELLS ME IM SEEING THINGS. THAT I DIDNT READ THAT.OR I MISUNDERSTOOD. LOL WELL I COPIED IT. I COPIED IT ALL.

  2. I can't even begin to explain how stressful going through Harvey was and still is. And here we are almost into March 2018 and we still have 2 or so months before we will be able to move back into our home. I'm closer to the Beaumont area and it was really really bad here. And the river, streams, and bayou's were so damaged from so much water. They still have not even started adressing dredging ditches and drainage systems that are still filled with sediment. And because of this many place and home have reflooded. And people that were half way rebuilt have had to regut their homes.

  3. when it's even starting to flood, start leaving…..just go !…..start going north…..only so many rescuers……thousands to rescue…..IF i lived there, i would have a boat big enough to hold me, my dogs and another person or two……

  4. sounds like the anchor hoped for a more tearful hysteria from either of them; and her questions seemed to keep fishing for the right question that would bring it on.

  5. What is heartbreaking is the notion that these people no longer have their homes. They might back today but this will happen AGAIN. Many if not all of these areas are no longer habitable. This will happen again in 2,5,10 years who knows but it will.

  6. Might want to invest in the Aquadam for the future to protect your home if a hurricane ever comes through that area again. Install the electrical outlets above higher levels in your home too as you guys remodel your homes. I shared the link in hopes to get these people help they need. It'll take some time, but you'll get there. God Bless Texas.I'm facing the same thing here in Fl.

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