WYLIE (CBS11) – As the nation braces for what could be our next hurricane disaster, Harvey’s impact will likely linger in Texas for years to come.
Many people in North Texas are especially mindful that the road to recovery is often traveled at a crawl.
“I don’t think anybody was expecting what we saw,” recalls Rory Ragsdale of Wylie, about an April 2016 hailstorm that damaged or destroyed some 12,000 homes. “I had over 300 holes through my roof, as did all my neighbors: no way to prepare for that kind of disaster.”
Just across the street, Tracey Hansen says watching the devastation in Houston hit her heart, hard. She has family there, as well.
“My poor people in Houston, the water is coming from the floor up, here it was coming form the ceiling down… the water finds it way.” Now, some 17 months since the storm, Hansen says repairs are still not complete at her home.
“It was so many homes affected, you have shortage of labor… parts… everything was a shortage,” says Hansen. “Everybody’s trying to get the same things done at the same time. It would have been fine if it had just been my home–but, it was 12,000 homes.”
More than 100,000 homes will need repairs in Houston– and that doesn’t include those in South Texas.
“It’s hard to even compare what they’re going through to what we went through,” says Ragsdale. “There’s a period of shock… you’re looking at your house and it’s essentially destroyed and you don’t know what the next step is… but, there is a process: take it a step at a time.”
Jay Delmar’s family lived in a backyard trailer for the seven months it took for his home to be repaired. Still, he considers himself fortunate that a neighbor could recommend a good contractor, and he offers words of encouragement to fellow Texans impacted by Harvey.
“You will get there… and there’s going to be difficulties along the way. But, God’s going to see you through it.” Delmar says his faith played a key role in his family’s recovery; but, he also says the storm gave him perspective.
“Makes you appreciate what’s truly important,” says Delmar. “These things have been replaced.”
So from those who have waded through the waters of frustration and despair: be patient, repairs will take far longer than you think, stay faithful and accept help when offered.
“My heart just aches for them. It just aches for them,” says Hansen.