Watch CBS News

"I don't have the words": Woman returns to home hit by Harvey

Harvey flooding victims return home
Harvey flooding victims return home 02:52

CROSBY, Texas -- Maribel Garcia has taken the trip down Apache Lane to her Crosby, Texas, house every day for 19 years. But on Wednesday, she made the trip in her neighbor's boat.

It was the first time she'd been back since Harvey hit, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. 

Because the Garcia family lost the keys to the house, we waded through chest-deep water to get in through the back window. Inside, it was worse than they feared.

"I don't have the words," Garcia said, fighting back tears.

Avoiding a health crisis in Houston 03:06

She lived here with her husband, four of their adult children and one grandchild. A baby's bottle and food sat on the counter, not quite finished -- serving as a reminder of how quickly they got out. 

It was a heartbreaking homecoming for many families in Crosby.

"Everything is gone," said Angel Balderas. He lives down the street. He had come by canoe to his house. During the storm, his family woke up to three feet of water inside their home and just had to go. What's in his truck bed is all he could salvage.

"Yeah, we got some of it saved out. But not much. Everything is almost gone," Balderas said. 

Maribel was only able to find enough dry clothes for a couple of days.  

"My kids want to come back home, but..." Garcia said, shaking her head. 

It seems hard to imagine that will be possible anytime soon. They are staying with family for now.  They recovered what they could, but they know their supplies – just like their living arrangements – are only temporary.

"I just feel overwhelmed, you know, helpless. I don't know what to do right now," Garcia said through tears. 

A feeling shared by so many around here as they come home to find there's not much to come home to. 

It's estimated that more than 80 percent of people in that area with water damage do not have flood insurance. No one CBS News talked to does. That means they may be on their own to pay for repairs.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.