HOUSTON – For many families, this will be the first Thanksgiving back in their homes since the rain from Hurricane Harvey flooded thousands of homes.
Northeast Houston was an area that was hit pretty bad.
“We actually packed up some clothes and some easy to fix food items and we went up the attic stairs, we took a pickax and hammer,” explained Bonnie Green, whose home flooded.
Originally, they thought they were out of harm’s way, but when the storm looped back over, the rain did not give them a break.
“We called for rescue but no one ever came, I had a neighbor who offered to pick us up and when we decided to go, it was too late, they couldn’t pick us up, they were less than a block and couldn’t’ drive,” explained Green.
The home she grew up in, and where she even raised her own son, Anthony, was destroyed.
“This time last year I wasn’t in a position to cook, everything was so dysfunctional here,” said Green. “It was cold, we had no walls, even the pipes blew out after some FEMA work was done initially, and despite and through all of that, we still made it. I had no idea how the walls were going to be restored in this house, how we would get the paint on the walls, the floors leveled out, and I had no idea, didn’t have a plan, and just one day, everything, just turned around.”
United Way of Greater Houston stepped in and helped with some repairs to Green’s home and donated appliances.
Well-known businessman Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale of Gallery Furniture donated more than $13,000 in furniture and accessories.
“I prayed over it, and my prayers were answered, and I’m just so thankful today that I will see a wonderful Thanksgiving,” said Green.
United Way, a charitable organization, raised more than $51 million and has invested about $28.6 million so far to help 45,00 families impacted by Harvey, according to the organization.
“Last year, we were unable to have a Thanksgiving due to Harvey, but this year it’s going to be a great,” said Anthony, who plans on cooking with his mom.
“I love this house, I’ve been here, my family, gone through the passing of my father and my mother, helping to take care of the two of them. It (the home) just has a lot of sentimental value as far as in my heart,” explained Green.