My house smells so bad!
Hurricane Harvey caused a lot of flooding in Houston. I live outside of Houston, but no one seemed to escape Hurricane Harvey including my family and my house. We got about 18 inches of water in our house. By the time we returned to the house two days later the water had receded in the house. The front yard was still flooded toward the street. The ditch was still overflowing into the yard; So much so that a boat floated along the street from house to house seeing if anyone else needed to be rescued.
Opening the door for the first time about knocked me over. How could our house smell so bad, so quickly?
The floors still had puddles of water throughout the house. The walls were wet, and you could see the moisture wicking up the wall. The paint was peeling, and all the furniture was wet. Talk about a smelly mess!
You can see the water still in the house. The water was receding.
A few more days had passed, and we went back home again to begin the cleanup. We opened all the windows and doors and the hard work began. Furniture was moved out of the house to the street. That was of course after everything was listed and photographed. You never know how much stuff you have until it’s destroyed and sitting as a pile of debris. Our street was starting to look like a war zone with all the sheetrock, insulation, furniture and anything else you can think of sitting in piles stretching down both sides of the street. Months went by before the debris was picked up. The smell was bad, and the grass was dead.
We had family that we had not seen in ages come to help. I was so happy to see them. I never expected that at all. Not only did they show up, but they took over and kicked butt! Our next surprise was the big groups of volunteers that showed up and removed every wall, toilet, door and anything else you wet and rotting out of the house. None of this would have been possible without everyone’s help.
You may not know this, but it is not like you can just start rebuilding right away. You must spray your empty house with chemicals that kill mold…. several times. You must pack up things that didn’t flood such as items in the top of closets or high cabinets. Then you have to wait for your adjuster. Even if you could run out and start rebuilding with your own money, there is just not enough material. It seems there was a shortage of insulation, sheetrock, contractors.
Rebuilding has been long and hard. We had a makeshift kitchen in the garage. No washer and dryer. Nothing. We had fast food for every meal. You can’t make food and you can’t store food. You can’t drink your own water. You feel tired and dirty.
Despite all of this we are very lucky. No one lost their life. My children and pets are safe. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to ever go through this again, but it was only “stuff” I lost. I don’t think I remember or miss any of it.
What is the next step? Construction….
Until next time,