Garbage mounds a second flood of problems after Harvey

- The curbside debris from flooded homes is piling up much faster than crews can pick it up. The problem is so bad that many residents are fearing what's next as garbage continues to litter the street. In fact, some residents in one Conroe neighborhood say they feel forgotten.
Almost every neighborhood in the Houston area that flooded now has mounds of trash covering the curbs and streets. Some are coated in garbage with piles stacked shoulder high. However, most people in other flooded areas have dragged the trash outside and then they leave the severely-damaged house to stay with family or at a hotel but not in the Conroe area. These Montgomery County residents are still living at their homes, sleeping on the ground five feet from all of the trash.                  

"The streets are just covered in people's lives, just waiting for someone to come and pick it up," explains volunteer Marisa Whitenton. "It's unreal." 

When Harvey struck the Conroe area, residents believed that escaping twelve feet of water was the worst of it. 

"We were trying to help people get out because it was really bad," explains Jose Diaz. "The water was really high, all the way to the white," As it turns out, that was only the beginning.   

The water is now gone, but the flood of problems continue. With their homes destroyed, no insurance and limited resources, residents here have nowhere to go. 

"We sleep right here on the floor for right now...yeah, on the ground," says Diaz. 

"We're living currently in a tent outside," adds neighbor Rosa Sanchez. "It's horrible."  

"It smells bad and a lot of mosquitoes in the night," adds Diaz.

"Oh the bugs, a lot of bugs," says Jose Beltran.

"There's been snakes," adds Sanchez. "It's just the animals and the diseases you can get from all this trash."  

FEMA representatives arrived to offer help to the residents. Good Samaritans have also been stopping by, dropping off everything from donated diapers to food.

"We have some bread that was donated by local bakeries and some salad that grocery stores donated to us," adds Whitenton.

"I live about 20 minutes up the road and I was not flooded, so this is the least I can do," adds Sherri Segari. "This breaks my heart." 

Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management says crews are picking up trash in the hardest-hit areas first, but a spokesperson says now that they know these residents are living  among the trash, they will take that into consideration to try to get the trash removed as soon as possible.

"We really need manpower and equipment to come out here and help us take this trash out," says Sanchez.   
If you live in Montgomery County and you need debris removed from your neighborhood, submit a Montgomery County debris pickup & damage report form or contact the Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management by phone at 936-523-3916.

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