With floodwaters nearing knee height, Arlene Estle fled to the upstairs of the Houston house where she’s lived for 50 years and raised four children. It was many hours later before her son-in-law arrived by boat to rescue her.

Her flooded home didn’t fare so well. It could be a year, her contractor warned her, before she can return. Until then, she’ll have to find some place to rent.

“I’m going to be 83,” Estle said one recent morning as her daughter and housekeeper helped try to disinfect her belongings. “This is just a life-changing thing for me to face with making so many decisions. It’s just overwhelming.”

Estle is among the fortunate ones. She has flood insurance and a longtime contractor who can start work soon. Most victims of Harvey have neither. Months will be spent struggling to assess damage, navigate federal assistance and apply for loans. Then, victims will have to compete for contractors who have already put prospective clients on waiting lists.

All told, it could take years for some people to rebuild, if they can do it at all. The same could be true of many victims of Hurricane Irma, which caused its own catastrophic damage in Florida, though less …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Business

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