Article by Ken Harold

A new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Episcopal Health Foundation of residents of 24 Texas coast counties, timed with the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey making landfall, found 70 percent of respondents “now say their lives are largely or almost back to normal.” Another 23 percent said “their personal financial situation is worse as a result of Harvey” and 17 percent say “their overall quality of life is worse.”

Eight percent of respondents said they were still “displaced from their pre-Harvey home,” and 19 percent “experienced severe damage to their home.” Nineteen percent of those who reported damage to their homes said “the conditions in the place where they are currently living are not safe for them and their families,” with concerns about their homes’ ability to survive another storm or flooding and worries about structural safety.

Forty-one percent of those affected by Harvey said they applied for FEMA or SBA assistance; 39 percent of them reported they were approved for assistance, while 42 percent say they were denied. Thirty seven percent of those receiving assistance said they were dissatisfied with the amount. Twenty eight percent of those affected said they had received help from local or national charities in the past year.

The Category 4 hurricane made landfall on August 25 of last year. At least eighty-eight Texans died in the storm, according to the Department of State Health Services as quoted by the Texas Tribune. The Kaiser survey estimates Harvey’s damage at over $125 billion, with 41 Southeast Texas counties declared federal disaster areas.