Spring Woman on Slow Road to Recovery One Year After Hurricane Harvey

"We'll never be whole, but we'll be okay"

It's been one year since Hurricane Harvey dumped record amounts of rain along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The storm damaged more than 200,000 homes in the Houston area, including Sharon Powers' home in Spring, which took on six feet of water.

Frustrated with adjusters, contractors and the county, four months after the storm, Powers took her insurance money and left.

"It became so overwhelming and so daunting," she said. "We kind of just looked at each other and said, 'What if we just sold the house as is and just moved?'"

Her new house is just 12 doors down from her old one, in a part of the neighborhood that didn't flood. 

Powers is like thousands of other people in Harris County, who sold their water-logged homes and moved to higher ground.

"We'll never be whole, but we'll be okay," she said.

Now she's down to just the bare necessities.

Her old patio furniture is now used in her kitchen.

"This is the table we had on the outdoor patio," Powers said. "We just have some metal folding chairs that we sit in for now."

The financial burden is partly to blame.

"We were kind of in that final turn heading toward the home stretch for retirement," she said. "Now we're back to like when you're a teenager and you move out of your mom's house and you just get the hand-me-downs to go out and make do."

The emotional scars cut just as deep.

"I don't want to take any pictures, I don't want any souvenirs if we go anywhere. I don't want to buy anything. I don't want to get attached to anything because I'm scared it can all be taken away again, because now I'm hyper-focused on disasters," she said.

Powers did salvage some things. She has a room full of keepsakes that she refuses to throw out.

"This is my daughter's first baby shoes," she said while holding a zip-lock bag of water-damaged shoes.

The memories stir up new emotions.

"It's still too raw," Powers said.

It's the same feeling she gets when it rains.

"I just sort of cringe, and I'm not sure how long that goes on."

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