HOUSTON (FOX 26) - It's nearly a year after Harvey hit Houston, and one single mom is about as devastated now as the day the flood water filled her home. It's heartbreaking and hard to believe there are people still rebuilding. Especially when you consider those who haven't repaired their homes yet likely don't have the resources to rebuild.
When you take a look around Charlene Kornegay's southwest Houston townhome, it’s clearly in need of extreme repairs. Since flooding after Hurricane Harvey, she and her 6-year-old son haven't had air conditioning, a shower or even walls.
”I'm the one who ripped the walls out, ripped the carpet out, took the tile up, took the toilets out. You name it I did it, Kornegay says.
We asked how she knew how to do all that stuff. "Google. YouTube,” Kornegay laughs, but this single mom says she hasn’t had much to smile about. She describes the last year of her life as "horrible". "In December is when we lost our FEMA (hotel) room and he started acting out in school," she says.
Kornegay and her son went back to their severely damaged home with one working electrical outlet.
”This is like our power hub. (It looks dangerous.) It is, I would think." She says her son has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
”Now he goes to counseling every week for PTSD and severe Anxiety Disorder,” she says.
Kornegay received $7,000 in FEMA assistance, but says the lowest estimate to repair her home is $50,000. ”You get to the point where you just don't want to deal with it anymore.”
She didn't have flood insurance and says she only receives disability since finding out four years ago she has a rare breast cancer. ”I was diagnosed with infiltrating mammary carcinoma stage 3C”. She's now in remission after extensive treatment, including ”a radical double mastectomy, because they had to take all the lymph nodes on this side and I'm left handed. I have lymphedema on this side now and that makes everything really hard.”
With no family to turn to, a year after Harvey Kornegay is getting by the best way she can even without a working kitchen.
”I haven’t cooked a meal for my son in a year, a year. When you don't make your child a meal besides in a microwave it messes with you bad. You feel like you’re a terrible parent,” Kornegay says.
Charlene Kornegay says she's praying and staying hopeful help will come. Reporter Damali Keith spoke with a FEMA representative who says Kornegay's case will be re-examined to see if more resources may be available for her.