Houston Matters

Why Are Some Victims of Hurricane Ike Still Living Under a Blue Tarp?

Back in 2008, Hurricane Ike damaged thousands of homes as it swept across the Houston region. Eight years later, hundreds of properties have still not been repaired. Many can be identified by the blue tarps on their roofs. Vallia Huff lived in one of the houses with blue tarps. Ike’s strong winds knocked over a […]

Vallia Huff, a retiree who lives in south Houston, lost her home’s roof after Hurricane Ike swept through the region in 2008. (Photo: Al Ortiz, Houston Public Media)Back in 2008, Hurricane Ike damaged thousands of homes as it swept across the Houston region. Eight years later, hundreds of properties have still not been repaired. Many can be identified by the blue tarps on their roofs.

Vallia Huff lived in one of the houses with blue tarps. Ike’s strong winds knocked over a big tree onto her roof and, despite working hard on temporary fixes, she had to deal with water leaks for eight years. Multiple water-caused stains in her home’s walls and ceilings gave proof of the problem Huff was dealing with.

“The scariest part about is the water is coming in on the electrical wiring and I’m afraid to put on the porch light because it might short out and then I have a house fire, and then I really would be in bad shape because I have nowhere else to go,” she told Houston Public Media back in September, when we visited her at home.

In the first of a two-part series, News 88.7’s Al Ortiz takes us inside Huff’s home and investigates why so many houses like hers haven’t been fixed yet.

(Above: Vallia Huff, a retiree who lives in south Houston, lost her home’s roof after Hurricane Ike swept through the region in 2008. Photo: Al Ortiz, Houston Public Media)

MORE: 
Blue Tarps Series Pt. 1 (News 88.7, Dec. 19, 2016)
Blue Tarps Series Pt. 2 (News 88.7, Dec. 20, 2016)

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