Residents' homes repair efforts in limbo after Memorial Day floods

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More than 11,500 people have applied for some $20 million worth of assistance in Harris County because of the May flood. (KTRK)

Robert Raphael remembers the night his house flooded.

"Twenty six inches of water came into the house in the early morning hours of Memorial Day," he recalled.

The damage is still not repaired.

Raphael is waiting to fix his Meyerland home because he needs to elevate his house before his can repair it. To elevate his house, he has to wait for the city and federal government to make some decisions.

"We've applied for the elevation grant that the city is going for from FEMA," he explained. "And we're waiting to hear whether or not we're included. "

It's a frustrating process, he said.

"The aftermath has actually been much worse than the event itself," Raphael said.

FEMA tells us Raphael is among more than 11,500 people who've applied for some $20 million worth of assistance in Harris County because of the May flood.

Joshua Rotenberg is another.

"It was very traumatic for everybody," he told Eyewitness News, standing on the uncovered slab floor of his Meyerland home. "We were here to watch the brown water all come in and then the next day watch it all go out. "

He has a family of six and is paying a mortgage on a home in which he can't live plus a rental house. While he appreciates the city's efforts, he thinks communication about available help could have been much better.

"At the end of the day, to give homeowners the decision about what's best for them would have been the best thing to do," he said. "You can't make plans if you don't have information."

So they wait.

At least Raphael tries to have a sense of humor about it.

"Being born in New Orleans, Louisiana," he laughed, "being flooded was a rite of passage."

The deadline to apply for FEMA funding is August 27, 2015.
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