Flooding won't break small town of Thompsons' spirit

THOMPSONS, Texas (KTRK) -- The town of Thompsons in Fort Bend County has flooded before, but what Hurricane Harvey brought to town was unprecedented.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the only way to get to Thompsons was by boat.

Mayor Freddie Newsome has lived in Thompsons for decades. He says only about 200 people live there and most of their homes were damaged by the flood.

"The only way I got to my house, or most people getting to their house, was on a boat," said Newsome.

Even churches were damaged by the flood, and plants, too. Everything the water touched was ruined.

Newsome said, in the days following the storm, volunteers and neighbors all pitched in to help those who needed it most. And he says the community will rebuild.

"We will recover. It's a slow process, but we will get back to normal," said Newsome.

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Homeowners stuck waiting to hear if it's worth rebuilding after flooding.

But when it comes to rebuilding a flooded home, a decision has to be made. Homeowners are stuck until FEMA makes the decision if their homes were damaged so severely that they must be razed.

This is not the first time Tennie and Gene Davis' home in Thompsons has flooded.

"It wasn't pretty, and to come back this year and see this? It's unreal, it is really unreal," said Gene.

The water was only two feet high inside, but the Davis family could not get down their street for two weeks, creating another problem.

"By the time we were able to get in, mold had grown from the floor to the ceiling," said Tennie.

Tennie Davis would like to move forward with the family's recovery effort, but she can't until FEMA decides if her home was damaged severely enough to require elevating it.

"We don't know if we can rebuild. We don't know if we have to tear down. We don't know if we have to elevate. We just don't know," she said.

For Tennie's mother, Melba Edwards, who has lived in the home for more than 60 years, Harvey has not changed her resolve.

"If it's salvageable, I will rebuild," said Edwards.

There are thousands of home owners in the same situation, waiting to hear if they have to raze the home before they can rebuild.

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