07:40 GMT05 July 2020
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    Hurricane Harvey Hits US (63)
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    As Houstonians try to readjust their lives post-Hurricane Harvey, flood victims are facing even more financial burdens.

    While US President Donald Trump called relief efforts "a wonderful thing," not everyone is feeling helped out.

    Speaking to Radio Sputnik's Loud and Clear with Brian Becker, Ann Wright, a retired US Army colonel, says people "are happy to be alive, but they went through hell to get there."

    ​"With the huge amount of water that came in… and if great citizens around the Houston area hadn't come out to help save their neighbors, we would have had massive amounts of death," the former State Department official, who resigned from her post in protest of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, told Becker.

    Calling Trump's praise "crazy," Wright says the severity of Harvey should push residents to pressure their local and state governments to create sufficient preventative measures to counter natural disasters.

    "We as Americans need to keep putting pressure on our congressmen and our president," Wright urged. "For our president to be saying no to global warming and pulling out of environmental treaties like… the Paris Accords is just horrendous."

    Just a week after Harvey struck the Texas coast, killing dozens and dropping over 50 inches of rain, several families who had to leave their homes have been required to pay rent — including late fees.

    "Our landlords say we have to pay rent and late fees and every day it is going up," Rocio Fuentes, of Pasadena, Texas, told the Guardian. "We are paying rent for somewhere we can't live in. They said, ‘You aren't the only ones in this situation,' but what are we supposed to do?"

    "We don't have any money. We don't have anything," Fuentes said.

    For Wright, the demands are "outrageous."

    "It's just horrific that landlords are doing that," Wright said. "We certainly hope that organizations in Houston rally together and prevent those evictions from taking place."

    According to Texas statutes, a tenant or landlord can terminate a lease if the residence is deemed "totally unusable" due to a natural disaster. But if the property is considered "partially useable," a tenant is still required to pay rent, possibly at a reduced price that is later determined in court.

    Hurricane Harvey Hits US (63)


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