Harvey victims fear tropical storms headed for Houston

Sunday, August 23, 2020
Hurricane Harvey victims fear severe weather headed to Houston
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Three years later, one Hurricane Harvey victim says she's just now getting her home repaired.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With two storms bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico, Alana Sayles is feeling anxious.

"It makes me nervous," Sayles said.

Three years after Harvey dumped rain in the Houston region, Sayles said her Galena Park home is just now receiving repairs.

"We thought we were being responsible. We had homeowners and flood insurance," Sayles said. "The damage came when part of the roof collapsed because of all the rain. The flood policy said it had to be rising water. The homeowners insurance paid out $4,000, which was less than half the price of a new roof."

Sayles said she applied to FEMA, but the claim was rejected.

This week, SBP Houston, a non-profit formed after Katrina, began the first steps in what will restore the Sayles home.

Bundles of new shingles and sheetrock are now in the garage.

Saint Bernard Parish (SBP) helped fix the home of a woman who is in her 80s after it was flooded during hurricane Harvey.

Despite COVID-19, Mark Smith, executive director for SBP Houston, said the nonprofit has rebuilt 37 Harvey homes this year, and expects to complete 70 by the end of the year. AmeriCorps volunteers are among those who perform the repairs.

Smith said SBP is on standby if the storms happen to impact the Houston region. He advises all Houstonians to prepare for the days ahead with plenty of water, canned goods and candles.

"So many people told us their homes had never flooded. Harvey shows that past history is no guarantee against flooding risk," Smith said.

He also urged people to safeguard important documents and papers, and take them if they evacuate. He also said to document property and possessions in the case of insurance claims.

"What concerns us is that there are many people who've given up hope on getting repairs. They've been rejected by FEMA, they may not have insurance, and they're still living in flood damaged houses. But there's still help out there," Smith said.

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