Arlington Flood Victims: We Need Help

Two weeks after disaster, Arlington residents hope for federal aid

By Scott Gordon
|  Thursday, Sep 23, 2010  |  Updated 11:36 PM CDT
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Scott Gordon, NBCDFW.com

Arlington residents along Rush Creek say they feel forgotten and need help.

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Two weeks after flood waters from Tropical Storm Hermine devastated their neighborhood, residents along Rush Creek in west Arlington say they feel forgotten and need help.

“It came roaring down the street,” Mary Henderson said.

Mary Henderson moved into a large home on Southpark Drive four years ago with her husband, mother, daughter and grandson.

Within an hour, she said the first floor of her home was underwater.

Henderson has spent the last two weeks removing soggy carpet and tearing out wet sheetrock.

"You can get a little frustration out by knocking out nails,” she said with a hammer in hand.

She said she is more than a little frustrated at the lack of help.

Like many of her neighbors, she had no flood insurance. She and her husband are forced to live on the second floor because of the damage on the first floor. Her mother, daughter and grandson have moved in with relatives.

She said she cannot sell the house in its current condition and cannot afford the repairs, which she estimates could top $100,000.

"I'm OK right now, but there are times it's just overwhelming,” she said. “I'm generally a pretty positive person, but this is pretty overwhelming."

Nearby, a complex of apartments and condos is all but abandoned. There's no power, and residents such as Diane Wade have moved out -- often with only the clothes on their backs.

"The emotion you experience when you go through something like that is it's like something you see on TV,” Wade said. “But you never and you never think it's going to be you."

In the same neighborhood, at least 60 homes were damaged and dozens of apartments destroyed.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry requested a federal emergency declaration on Monday.

He asked for federal assistance in 13 counties, including Tarrant, Denton, Hill and Johnson, which would allow victims access to unemployment assistance, disaster loans and counseling.

Henderson, for one, suggests anyone who lives anywhere near water think hard about getting flood insurance.

"You never know,” she said. “In this life, you just never know. Just cover yourself, for everything."

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