CYPRESS (KTRK) --The destruction done to homes and lives in the greater Houston area has consumed us for days with images of people being pulled to safety, then wondering what they do next. Reservoirs spilling into subdivisions continues even now.
In those same communities are places that fit into the fabric of lives, and many of them have been impacted by the water that inundated bayous. We're talking about places like neighborhood restaurants, stores and gas stations.
On Cypress Creek, near FM 1960 and Cypresswood, is a new retail center that houses a bank, a sports shop, a gym and more. About a dozen tenants in all, and on Thursday, none of those businesses have reopened.
Melody Persons owns Haute Couture, which now looks like a reconstruction zone. Piles of damaged laminate flooring are out on the sidewalk and racks of clothes are in a back storage rooms.
"It came through the back and then swept through," she said of the floodwater that rose past the parking lot Tuesday morning.
"We'll get through this," she said with a smile.
Next door at Smart Drinks and Nutrition, vitamins have been taken off store shelves, to be boxed up until the business reopens.
"It came through the door," owner Charles Levinson said. "But the real picture is more sad for the people in our community who lost their homes. That's the bigger picture than what we're going through."
A few doors down, past the Mellow Mushroom Pizza that remains closed, is Sun and Ski. On Thursday, a contracting crew of cleaners was at work with wet vacs. Looking on was the store manager Mike Beach.
Beach cannot escape the flood aftermath. His home nearby took on several inches of water. Even so, he's grateful his house was spared what some of his neighbors experienced.
"I have friends who had four feet of water in their homes, and lost everything," he said.
Still, his job requires him to bring this Sun and Ski location back to business.
"We hope to reopen in just a few days," he said.
Most of the store's products were moved to avoid damage. Air conditioners have been running on high. The building never lost power.
"We'll be back," Beach said with a confident voice. "This is Houston and we're resilient."
Part of that recovery involves the 'infrastructure' of a community. The places that are familiar like stores, but it's not just about business.
"It's about returning to normal - a routine - being able to come and shop and eat at their neighborhood restaurants, and get out of their waterlogged homes," he said.
For those now dealing with the flood aftermath, a return to normal never sounded so good.