HOUSTON, TX — The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season has begun, but many families in Houston are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Harvey’s devastating floods in 2017.
Hurricane Harvey became the nation’s worst rainstorm, flooding more than 154,000 homes across Harris County.
It is taking some time to get Houston — and those who call this city home — back to normal.
The Laynes’ family home was only a few months old last September when the floodwaters came. Storm damage is also still visible throughout the neighborhood. Many like Ceasar did not have flood insurance.
“Prior to purchasing the house, I asked our realtor and the agent of the seller if we needed flood insurance. And they both said this is a flood free zone and insurance is not a requirement. It was an extra expense, so I did not get any.”
Like many others in Texas, Ceasar obtained flood insurance after Harvey. Increasing flood policies by 18 percent, making Houston the city with the most flood insurance policies in the country.
Houston insurance agent Fenina Fink says that outdated flood plan maps across the country have deceived homeowners into believing they do not need flood insurance.
“55% of the people that put in claims were not from the high-risk area, they were all from the low-risk area. So that’s about 92,000 claims that happened in the Houston area. And about $150 billion dollars in devastation so some of them are still recovering today.”
According to federal officials, federal insurance premiums will jump 8% again this year — making the decision to risk it all just that more difficult.