Hurricane survivors continue their road to recovery over two months later

This year's storm season cost upwards of $300 billion, on top of the already $1.2 trillion in damage caused by weather and climate disasters since the 1980s.
8:02 | 11/15/17

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Transcript for Hurricane survivors continue their road to recovery over two months later
The house was pretty open. We were able to salvage the blinds, which was great. This is what it looks like the rebuild your life from scratch. I miss my house a lot. Two months after hurricane Harvey destroyed her neighborhood, the single mother of three is ready to bring her family home. I think the most emotionally taxing thing for me is just how long this process is taking. We first met her when Houston was a city in crisis. There they are. We're coming to get you! Whole neighborhoods swallowed by the waters as more than 22 trillion gallons of water poured down. In those first days, we embedded with a team of former military soldiers as they performed life saving operations. As the floodwaters receded, a harsh reality set in. More than 185,000 homes danieled or destroyed. She was just one of many displaced. We made the journey back with her to survey the damage. Nearly impossible to reach her neighborhood by foot. So a group of volunteers stepped in to help. This is the street where my kids play. They come off the bus at the entrance. Kids' bikes, our camping gear. Inside, the weight of damage began to sink in. My favorite furniture piece. I've had this almost 20 years. It is tough to see some of these things destroyed. Now a second chance. Every time I come here, I get emotional. This is where my kids slept. I'm looking forward to getting this done. It is and not if the next storm will hit. Just when. There are concerns, too. What if thises happen again? Can we sustain something like the again? Financially, emotionally. This Texas suburb tells one part of a story, one of recovery and resilience. Americans from the gust coastal to Puerto Rico struggling to reset and rebuild in the wake of a series of massive storms. In the Florida keys, piles of debris tell the story of hurricane Irma. 130-mile-an-hour winds destroy nearly everything in its path. We don't have a roof over our heads. When we walked in, there was water everywhere. What was going through your mind? Could you even believe your eyes? No. This is our home. And it is hard to see somewhere where we raised our daughters. While not destroyed, it is filled with mold and unlivable. Her FEMA claims were denied because of too little damage my daughter wants to go home. She asks me every day. When are we going home? This cost upwards of $300 billion. All on the already $1.2 trillion caused by weather and climate disasters since the 1980s. A portion of which will now be on the taxpayers' shoulders. In another corner of the united States, the idea of recovery is still distant on the horizon. The lingering devastation, an able reminder of how hurricane MARIA hit a corner of Puerto Rico. We are approaching where my grandmother was born and lived. The enchanted island, as it is known. A place close to her heart. I was here last year. It is completely devastated. It doesn't look anything like it looked just last year around Christmas time. For many -- there's just not enough help coming from the outside. All they can do is pick up the pieces. She's saying, after the hurricane, there is no way she can live here. If you look, the roof is on the floor. At night, this is where she sleeps. They have a mosquito net over the bed. Serving wet. FEMA sent her a letter which says they've reviewed and everything she's eligible for $500. She doesn't know what she would do with $500. 56 days later, more than half the island is in the dark. Residents are in desperate need of electricity. The truth is without power, the economy will not start rolling. Without the economy not starting to roll, people cannot go back to work. Students cannot go back to school. In more ways than one, it is ball power. And the farther you travel from the capital, the tougher the situation gets. We're headed toward a town that had a bridge that connected two sides of the town. That bridge was decimated by the hurricane. Literally half the bridge is gone. I've never seen anything like the before. We're talking about a concrete bridge. Once you make your way across this river bed and up the two-story ladder, you can see why the people in this town are calling themselves camp of the forgotten. I feel like I'm in jail. I haven't been able to get out. I'm afraid of the stairs. This is bridge. And I will not cross. And it's been seven weeks. Without electricity. You have some water now. Yes. He gave us water. We had no water either. The weight of the fury not solely on Puerto Rico. Both sides of the walls completely blown out. My colleague he traveled to the Virgin Islands still reeling from the 1-2 punch of hurricane Irma and then MARIA. More than 70% here still living without power. So this is your home. This is it. But like so many here, he lost his home. Reminded us of the beauty that still remains and the hope that was not forgotten. A lot of people here lost their home, their life. You can do whatever you need to do. But you can't build back alone. How are you? Mrs. Phillips, a mother of 12. Choosing to give back to others. She and her family began cooking meals for those in need. It's not too much extra. So it was out of necessity that you came one this idea. Per day. Most of the food donated from others across the island. No one would blame you if you said woe is me, life is terrible and just buried your head in the sand. But you didn't. Because we raise our children to serve god and to always love your neighbor as yourself. For disparity parts of America. Bound by tragedy. We'll have a bigger and a better Puerto Rico. It's all about restoring hope and making sure people don't lose that hopeful. Now proving that the human spirit is he stronger than any storm. I'm looking forward to a starting fresh. I think all of us are looking forward to it. Next, meet the first ever

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