Video: Harvey flood victims return to homes for first time

HARDIN COUNTY, Texas (CNN) — It is an emotional time for flood victims in Houston, who are returning to their neighborhoods and homes only to find devastation and destruction.

Flood waters were rising when Steven and Katie Wooten left their home.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” Katie said. “I guess I don’t know what I was expecting.”

“I’m shocked. Speechless,” Steven said.

Today, the smell, overwhelming. Mold grows everywhere. The walls crumble like cheese.

Everything in their home a complete loss.

Parents to Tyler, Dixie and Talan, 15 ,13 and 11. They didn’t have the heart to bring them to see what’s left.

Overwhelmed by loss, Katie excuses herself.

“It makes me sad for our kids,” she says.

“Our youngest just wants to come back and sleep in his bed.”

This is at the Countrywood Estates area near Sour Lake, Texas. This is the first time these people have gotten back into their homes. There are still 1,000 or more homes inundated, days after the rain stopped falling.

Sheriff Mark  Davis has worked in law enforcement 31 years.

He says “It’s by far the greatest disaster we’ve ever seen here. The most damage by far.”

Lisa Bennett, who lost a pet in the flood said, “It’s heart wrenching. Everything is gone. Everything. Everything I had is gone. Look out here. Everything. There’s nothing left.”

Bennett left when the water was hip deep.

She couldn’t save her favorite pet, a miniature donkey.

“I found him deceased. Over there along the fence line. That’s all I wanted was my donkey. It may sound crazy, but animals are a part of a lot of people’s lives around here.”

Bennett says she won’t rebuild, the loss too great.

The Wootens are here to stay.

A relief fund to help Harvey survivors started by JJ Watt of the Houston Texans is now topping $20 million.

The White House is requesting $7.85 billion for response and recovery efforts.

The House is expected to approve an initial round of disaster relief funds Wednesday.

The Senate is likely to attach the bill to a politically-fraught effort to raise the debt ceiling, which might otherwise fail on its own.

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