HURRICANE HARVEY: Grim homecoming is the first step in recovery


Two decades. That’s how long the Gomez family spent fixing up their Talton Street house just the way they liked it.

The privacy gate, the garden benches, the treadmill in the back room. The flat-screen TV on the living room wall, the blue pictures of fish in the bathroom, the brand new cream-colored dining room chairs.

On Thursday, Maria and Juan Gomez cried as they surveyed the home that Harvey stole into, leaving mud, upturned furniture, water-logged cabinets and even a few fish in its wake.

“Twenty-three years,” Juan Gomez said, his throat tightening with emotion. “You’re working for nothing, working for nothing.”

Scenes like this played out all along Talton Street in Northeast Houston.

As residents of storm-weary Harris County begin returning to their homes, the quiet street is emblematic of what neighborhoods across the region will likely experience in days and weeks to come. Although some had flood insurance, other disaster victims said they did not and will likely spend years trying to recover physically, mentally and financially.

Read more about other Houston evacuees’ homecomings and Harvey’s early damage reports at MyStatesman.com.



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