Houstonians come together to rebuild, after Hurricane Harvey

by Mary Estacion, ABS-CBN News

HOUSTON, TX — Houstonians won’t soon forget about how they felt when Hurricane Harvey was submerging the city with trillions of gallons of water.

“It was a ticking bomb. That’s the best way I could describe it,” said Tiffany Garbanzos.

Tiffany Garbanzos could hear her neighbors yelling for help and with the water inside the house rising to nearly 3-feet high, she knew it was time for her and her family to leave.

“We were losing everything… the pictures… our memories,” she said.

Memories that now include the nightmare of watching their hometown disappear under water.
Now that the waters in this neighborhood have receded, what’s left are rotting sheets, rocks, and water-logged belongings. It’s now time for residents here to put the pieces of their lives back together.

But that won’t be easy, especially when only an estimated 20% of victims have flood insurance.

“We have home insurance, but unfortunately it doesn’t cover flooding.”

“Places are flooding where they had never flooded before. There was no reason to get flood insurance before,” said Soren Valverde, dir. of constituent services.

With no insurance to fall back on, those affected will look to FEMA for loans to help rebuild. But in the short term, it’s the spontaneous generosity of strangers that’s lifting the spirits of Houstonians.

“This gives me hope in humanity really,” said Tiffany.

And that humanity is what’s uniting the city.

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