Houstonians return to homes ruined by floodwaters

Houstonians are anxiously awaiting the drop in floodwaters so they can start cleaning and hopefully rebuilding their homes.

Residents in the Meyerland neighborhood, located near one of the city's bayous, say the area has been flooded three times in recent years. But this time, they say it was the worst.Meyerland neighborhood, located near one of the city's bayous, say the area has been flooded three times in recent years. But this time, they say it was the worst.

The once-picturesque streets were trashed with piles and piles of debris sitting on the street corner. Just days ago, the belongings inside the homes had value, but it was destroyed by 38 inches of rainfall.

The Nathan family had to cut their way out of the attic in order to be rescued. They returned to their home Thursday to pick up the pieces.

“Harvey came in and absolutely obliterated the house — all the furnishings, everything,” Tyann Nathan said. “We’re in here throwing most of the stuff away, saving what we can and packing stuff up in preparation to probably leave.”

The Nathans have flood insurance, but many of their neighbor's don’t. One woman said she wanted her kids to inherit their house. But because of Harvey, that's probably not going to happen.

In Patty Busmire’s West Houston home, there are still several inches of water. The water is from the Buffalo Bayou on her back porch.

“When I came out, I saw the lake was now the bayou and had now breached,” she recalled.

Busmire evacuated once and stacked as much she could up high. When she returned, she began to clean with the help of friends.

Though Busmire also found a memento she forgot to take to higher ground, the cleanup was short lived.

“I found a bag and a box that had been submerged of family videos and my children growing up,” she said. “I lost a son to cancer, and these are the only films I have of him. So it's in my trunk and I'm hoping I can save it.”

The bayou began to rise again Wednesday after water was released from a nearby reservoir, forcing Busmire out once more. And the water hasn't gone anywhere.

Though the water of Buffalo Bayou might be at the Busmire's back porch, they are not looking back. Instead, they are looking up.

“I'm safe. Everyone's safe,” she said. “And these are things that bring people together.”

 

 

The Thornwood community in Northwest Houston is one of the many hit hard.

Scott Wise says he did not have time to grab valuable belongings like pictures of his daughter that were on the first floor of his home.

“I'm without flood insurance,” he said. “When I bought it in 2004, insurance agent said you don't need flood insurance. You're never going to use it. We survived Ike, survived Memorial Day flood without a touch."

Homeowners were able to go out and find their stranded cats or dogs they had to leave behind.

And it's not just homeowners who are reeling.

“Dad has dental office needed to salvage items,” said Xander Ly, whose dad’s dentist office flooded. “It's under three feet of water. All that equipment, it's gone to waste. Will take a lot of money to get it replaced.”

There are still flood victims unaccounted for. Volunteers with a nonprofit from Billings, Montana, spent two days driving to Houston to help rescue people trapped in their homes.

 

Despite all of the devastation and heartache, the consensus among homeowners was it could’ve been much worse.

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