Meyerland residents relive devastation of Hurricane Harvey

Monday, September 25, 2017
Meyerland residents relive Harvey rescue
Meyerland residents relive Harvey rescue

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Hundreds of homes in the Meyerland area were flooded by Hurricane Harvey, and nearly a month later, many are still waiting on contractors to rebuild.

"It's a weird feeling to be able to look through, and you can see your entire house just by ducking down," said homeowner Matt Robbins.

Robbins is an ABC13 photojournalist. As his home flooded, he recorded the damage. In the video, the water is seen at his doorstep, and then it starts seeping in.

Meyerland residents relive devastation of Hurricane Harvey

Robbins said his wife and two children evacuated to Dallas. He sent them updates until he had to evacuate too.

Weeks later, Robbins invited us in to see the progress on his home. He and several friends ripped out the bottom two-feet of sheetrock everywhere in his home. Talking about the storm is still difficult.

"It's a lot easier to see the house like this than to see your kids stuff floating in the water," said Robbins.

Robbins said he's now in a waiting game with his insurance provider. He said it may take up to six months to complete all the repairs.

"I tell a lot of people my house flooded. My home did not," said Robbins. "I think when it's all said and done, we will be better off than we were before with a new perspective on what we need and we don't need."

Just a few miles away from Robbins' home, an apartment complex was nearly chest deep in water.

It's where several residents had to be rescued, either by helicopter or by boat.

"It was so cold. I remember that," said Marilyn Datz who was rescued on live TV by ABC13 reporter Foti Kallergis and a volunteer rescue boat team from Eagle Lake. Her rescue was seen around the world.

"It's like I was living in a bad dream, not even a dream. Dreams are nice, a nightmare," said Datz.

After getting to safety, Datz said she was rushed to Methodist Hospital for a medical evaluation. She was there for two days.

When the water receded, Datz didn't have much she could salvage. She's now living with her 93-year-old mother. She's sleeping on the same bed she used to when she was 10.

"Sleeping is a little difficult because it goes around in your head, and you can't just push the stop button up there," said Datz.

Meyerland's orthodox Jewish community will rebuild after Harvey's devastating floods.

The United Orthodox Synagogues building has flooded three times in the past two years, but Harvey's wrath left the worst damage of all. Up to seven feet of water flooded the facility, nearly reaching the ark where the Torah is kept.

The rabbi says he plans to rebuild, but there is concern about whether or not those who live near the congregation will choose to rebuild. Should they choose to move, it could decimate the close-knit Jewish community, as people intentionally live close to the synagogue because they are not allowed to drive during the Sabbath.

"The flood has proven why we have to stay. It's not giving us a reason to leave; the fact that we were so united and so together and so the answer to the question. We need community," said Rabbi Barry Gelman.

SEE ALSO: Boat ride reveals devastation in Meyerland area

ABC13's Jeff Ehling floats with a rescue boat to reveal the flood and devastation left behind by Harvey.

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff