Houston Struggling With Piling Debris 4 Weeks After Harvey

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HOUSTON (CBSMiami) – It’s been four weeks since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston as a category 4 storm. It quickly become a flooding disaster, and recovery has been slow.

Michelle Frankfort has a Texas-sized problem sitting on her front lawn.

“It’s not acceptable. We are trying to move forward as a city and this to meet causes a health hazard,” she said.

One month after Harvey hit, and three weeks after Frankfort cleared out her home, she’s still looking at mountains of molding memories – complete with horseflies and a constant smell of mildew.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett is helping lead recovery efforts in Southeast Texas.

“There’s been some hiccups,” he said. “No nobody could be satisfied but is progress being made.”

Household debris ends up in larger piles. Trucks have only removed about five percent of Harvey’s wreckage.

In Southeast Texas, close to 800,000 people have applied for FEMA assistance.

The agency has already paid out more than $570 million to individuals for temporary housing, cars and cash for immediate needs.

The insurance council of Texas estimates there are about a quarter million flooded cars and trucks – thousands are parked at a Houston-area speedway.

Insurance companies have already taken care of a billion dollars worth in claims and that number is expected to triple.

On top of that, at least 2,000 people remain in shelters and many schools have not yet started.

Local officials say they’re looking at revamping old flood plain maps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“We have to make sure people no longer build in areas that can’t be protected from flooding,” Emmett said.

For Frankfort, she can’t even think about the future until the past is carted away, and that could take six months.

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