Back to the Anger Phase of Flood Grief

I lied – not purposely mind you, but I really thought I was getting to a better place and had worked through my anger. Grief/trauma specialists say that it is common to fluctuate through stages of grief rather than sail straight through to acceptance. That’s true for me because I am experiencing overwhelming anger again.

Why? Because I am getting news daily that seems more grim and forboding, and crushing my hopes that I will be able to navigate reasonably through this process.

We must endure so many regulations, red tape, multiple inspections, permits, and lots of extra time. Which means if we do evertything required, we will all be displaced from our homes that much longer.

To add insult to injury, we were price gouged on restoration and we have to take the guy to court to get a partial refund.

I have a time clock ticking as I have an 88 year old father living with me. Six months of displacement would be disastrous.

Plus I don’t enjoy being homeless. Yes, homeless. That would accurtely describe many of us right now. Our home is not habitable yet we must pay mortgage, taxes, bills. And wait.

Adding to my anger is the news that monies were set aside to refine the flood retention basins infrastructure but it was not done, and was diverted to other projects. There are rumors that the bayou near our home was supposed to be widened to hold more water. Again, not done.

In the meantime there are approximately 4000 homeowners whose lives are hanging in the balance, because our homes were destroyed by this disgusting flood. They are good, law abiding, high tax paying, hard working citizens, whose lives have been disrupted because some politicians couldn’t get their act together to do what was needed to be done to prevent this.

You can see why I am seething.

I can’t even go there for the poor souls who have to rely on FEMA alone because they didn’t even have flood insurance. For sure, they will be homeless. (Some people opted out of flood insurance because it is expensive and if you live in a 500 year flood district, and have NEVER flooded, you feel safe in doing that – it wasn’t reckless given the history.)

Our beautiful, peaceful neighborhood resembles a war zone, looking like a bomb was dropped here with all the resulting rubble outside the homes stretching up and down, block after block. People from other areas are driving past us shaking their heads in shock and disbelief. How could this once handsome neighborhood be reduced to a giant pile of refuse?

We are traumatized, sorting and discarding possessions, documenting, cleaning, and soldiering through this nightmare. To equate this to something people could related to, imagine a fire destroying not one home but 4000 homes – it is that kind of destruction here.

Though I am loathe to call us victims, this whole episode is starting to smell kind of funny to me (as smelly as my house is currently) because I think this could have been avoided. And if that’s the case, yes, we are victims. It’s not Houston’s first go-round with a flood event. You would think the government would learn from the past and not let people spend a fortune on a beautiful home that could be destroyed easily in a weather event, without some sort of strong anti-flooding infrastructure.

Now excuse me while I try to calm myself with chocolate/alcohol or both.

7 comments

  • I just read tour last two blogs and I’m so sorry for everything you are going through. I know those are just words but I can see the destruction and chaos in your pictures. I am a person who likes everything in its place and in order so I know this would overwhelm me. I honestly can’t imagine but I will keep you, your family and neighbors in my prayers. I hope things will at least start to go more easy for you. Again, I’m so sorry.

  • I think it calls for a LARGE glass of wine and a 2lb. box of See’s candy. My treat, girlfriend.

  • Ron Teitelbaum

    The rules are unfortunate. If your home had over $250k in damage and you are prohibited from repairing it without elevating, I don’t think repair is an option. That leaves tearing down and building a new home if you can afford it, sell the home for land value and buy something else, or try for a FEMA buyout.

    I heard Willow Waterhole is not connected to the Bayou. Widening of Braes Bayou from Fondren to around the med center is supposed to be completed by 2017.

    Try not to be angry, you need your energy for problem solving.

  • This is is a smelly situation thank you so much for your blog. Expresses all our feelings accurately.

  • I’d be screaming so loudly you’d hear me from the other side of the country. You do NOT need any red tape now. The only type of tape you should be seeing is that from volunteers helping you to secure boxes. This is unimaginable..where the hell is your governor???

    • Our governor is busy worrying about how to appease his rich constituents to bother with helping Houstonians restore their homes from flooding. Republicans don’t believe in government unless it somehow benefits them. Forget helping people, Abbott is helping oil companies.

  • Henry feldman

    I got 21″ of flooding inside my house in 2001. I feel your pain and am so sorry. My house, if it was still there, would have flooded even more this time. (I got 4″ in 1994 and stayed then but not in 2001.). This is a very long process. It has just begun.. I’m not a fountain of optimism. The floods are worse. The stories about bayou work go on and on. In my opinion, you have 3 choices : sell as is and take the loss, raise the house so you never worry about a big rain again (PTSD can be a problem), or fix it and sell it in 5 years when people forget (and they will forget). There, I said it. Take it for what you want but I have been there.

    Henry

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