Residents struggle to find necessities in Harvey’s aftermath

World Today

Residents Michael Notarangelo, left, and Lee Fromenthal stand in a darkened hall at Providence on Major, an apartment building for seniors, on Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, in Beaumont, Texas. Without power or water since Hurricane Harvey, residents are sleeping in the lobby and hauling pool water to flush toilets. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

The death toll has risen in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, with now, at least 60 people have been killed, many from drowning.

For those who survived, getting back to a normal routine is a struggle. In Beaumont, Texas, an hour east of Houston, a big challenge is finding basic necessities like clean water.

CGTN’s Sean Callebs has more.

Federal lawmakers helped hand out three jugs of water, two bags of ice and a box of what’s known as MRE’s, or meals ready to eat, to everyone getting supplies.

“We want to make sure Texas knows we will be there for them,” said Kevin McCarthy, a U.S. Congressman.

Beaumont was hit hard by Harvey. Its two water treatment plants were flooded; the town has had no running drinking water since the storm.

Oppressive Texas heat has replaced the record rainfall that Harvey brought when it made landfall. And, the initial shock has given way to the reality that it is going to be a long time before this area of southeast Texas returns to normal.

Many in this town of 118,000 people wonder when drinking water will flow again.

Gail Joubert checks on her flooded home from time to time.   Her problems are compounded, and rebuilding will be a struggle.

“We didn’t get the flood insurance.  Wind, storm, yes.  Insurance, yes.  But flood insurance, no,” explains Joubert.

She and her elderly mother have moved in for the time being with her sister Patricia. 

It was Patricia’s quick thinking that helped the family once the tap was turned off.

“That night when they said the water was cut off, she filled up these things with water.”

Containers of water are used to wash clothes.  Drinking water and water to cook with comes from the daily handouts.  

“I got this yesterday: two things of ice so we put it in the freezer,” Joubert said.

However, the hot days and lack of necessities are taking a toll.

“It’s frustrating, something (water) that you are used to having every day and not being able to use it.”

Frustration and uncertainty: two by-products of Harvey that sadly are not in short supply.