More than three years after Hurricane Harvey, some residents of Aransas County still live in the damaged homes left in its path.
In what seemed like a never-ending struggle for Lori Sanderson and De Rowe, the couple finally managed to receive a new home on their property on Sunset Drive Friday, Sept. 4 from the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group (CBDRG) and its partners.
With funds raised by Rebuild Texas, Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, Inc., and the Coastal Bend Food Bank, Sanderson and Rowe received their first stable and safe home to live in since Harvey.
After evacuating to Mission during Harvey, Sanderson and Rowe were told by next-door neighbors their trailer home had suffered extensive damage. When they returned, they found their trailer home had been almost fully gutted by the winds and rain.
“The only places that weren’t gutted was the back bedroom and some of the kitchen,” said Sanderson.
With no other options, the couple had no choice but to try and fix what was left of the trailer and live there until they could find help.
They continued to live in the same trailer under harsh conditions for three years. Sanderson said the home was inundated with small holes in the walls, floors, and ceiling.
“We could walk through the house and pinpoint where the soft spots were and know to avoid them,” said Sanderson.
They also constantly battled issues with mold throughout the house.
“I didn’t know which was worse, the mold, or the stuff you put in there to kill the mold,” said Rowe.
Rowe and Sanderson said they went through 26 different organizations before they found someone that said “Yes” to their situation.
“We would pick three to four at a time (to help),” said Rowe. “I had made a big list and we’d contact three or four at a time to see what all would go on.”
After numerous scams and broken promises from multiple organizations, Rowe and Anderson finally received some good news in January 2020. They were told they would be receiving a new trailer home.
After another seven difficult months between the CBDRG, which included a bad motel stay and meeting firm county parameters, they finally had a safe and sustainable place to call home.
They said while the new trailer isn’t perfect and came with some glaring faults, their living conditions have vastly improved.
Rowe said the trailer being smaller helps him get around a little easier.
Sanderson said it’s nice not having to look out for soft spots in the floor anymore. The house also allowed for her father to safely come over for a Thanksgiving dinner for the first time since Harvey.