HOUSTON, TX - It's been one week since the Tax Day flood. Even though the waters have receded, Houston is still suffering.
"They're tearing down our sheetrock, as we speak, in our apartment complex," said North Houston resident Michelle Banion. "Everyone over here is devastated: their houses destroyed, their cars gone."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the federal assistance he has requested for Harris, Fayette, Grimes and Parker counties has been awarded. Affected citizens will receive up to $33,000 in grants, plus low-interest disaster loans. All that could be of help to those who didn't have flood insurance. That assistance was approved.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee released the following statement today announcing that the federal Government has granted the request for Individual Assistance for Harris County:
“Today the federal government granted the request for Individual Assistance for Harris County which was affected by severe weather and flooding. I would like to thank all the local, state and federal officials who helped in making this possible.
I would like to thank the President and FEMA for quickly granting Texas’ request for Individual Assistance following last week’s severe weather. The federal government will continue to work with our local and federal partners to aid residents of Harris County while they are recovering and rebuilding from flood damages and ensure all those affected receive the assistance they need.”
"It all happened so fast," expressed home-owner Dorothy Robertson. "I'm happy that me and my family were able to get out safely."
Nearly 2,700 single-family homes and multi-family units were hit by the floods, according to the City of Houston. More than 1,300 individuals have been displaced, 400 of which have left the M. O. Campbell Center shelter and moved to hotels.
"We might be moving to a hotel," lamented Banion. "I have two young kids so I don't want to go to a shelter."
Residents in areas severely affected, like Greenspoint in North Houston, are returning to their daily routines.
"I can't live in my apartment right now," complained Shirley Boyd. "I'm gonna live with relatives until they refurbish, or whatever they plan on doing… and then I'll try to come back."
The damage has been considerable, and people are fed up with these floods. But there's one thing all Houstonians agree upon, and that is the power and solidarity of our communities.
"We all came together like a family," celebrated Michelle. "Everyone checks on everyone."
Now it's time to rebuild, and hope for a reasonably dry future.