Taylor flood victims can't go back home

More than a week after the Memorial Day flood, Annette Mackey's unit at the Avery Apartments in Taylor sits vacant.

On Wednesday, we met Mackey at her mother's house where she and her 4 kids have been staying...visibly shaken about the meeting with the Taylor Housing Authority she was about to have.

"They're going to terminate our leases," she said in tears.

The Taylor Housing Authority says they're not sure yet if the apartments can be repaired. They're waiting on an assessment to find that out. But in the meantime because the units are sitting vacant they say they're required to terminate the tenants' leases.

Taylor Housing Authority Director Ebby Green tells FOX 7 because FEMA hasn't declared the area a disaster zone, the funding they need never came.

Now, of the 70 units at Avery, 40 families will be staying at local hotels until the end of June -- on the Housing Authority's dime. They say that's the most that can be done -- after that, they're on their own.

"I'm grateful that we got out of the flood, I'm grateful for everybody that's been trying to help us with our clothing and food but I just want to have...me and my kids, we just want to be in our own place. I want to be in my own bed. This is crazy," Mackey said.

Annette's mother Debra Tyson isn't just concerned for Annette.

"It's not just about my daughter okay? I'm a God-fearing woman. It's not about my daughter, not just about her and the kids. It's about all those people over there that don't have nowhere to go, baby. They have nowhere to go," Tyson said.

While Annette was meeting with the Housing Authority we spoke with other Avery tenants.

Charlynn Sepcic understands the decision.

"Each family has a size from 3 kids to 5 kids. You know so in my opinion I think they're doing everything they can," Sepcic said.

Courtney Hargers was Annette's next door neighbor.

"One of the hotels they're putting me in is all the way out south. I work in Taylor. That's a commute every day coming back and forth," she said.

Annette and her mom Debra begged the Housing Authority to find another way. After her meeting, Mackey told us what they asked for.

"If they could place us somewhere else. If they would try to give out Section 8 vouchers to help...there's nothing they say they can do...that their hands are tied," Mackey said.

Most of the tenants we interviewed say the City of Taylor hasn't done enough to help.

We reached out to them. The city sent us this statement:

"While the Taylor Housing Authority is a separate entity from the City of Taylor, the City is committed to providing assistance to the residents of the Avery complex through the Taylor Housing Authority. City Staff has been in frequent contact with the Housing Authority Executive Director, Ebby Green, and will continue with that communication.

Today, Taylor City Manager, Isaac Turner met with Ms. Green and expressed support of her efforts to request that the Federal Emergency Management Association revisit the funding status of the Avery Housing complex.

Also, at the request of the Taylor Housing Authority, City staff will meet, tomorrow, with the Executive Director of the Taylor Housing Authority and the Board of Directors to discuss the Authority's long term plans for recovery for families impacted by the Memorial Day storm.

On Memorial Day, 2015, the City of Taylor suffered an unprecedented event receiving over 6 ½ inches of rain in less than two hours, exceeding what would be expected in a 500 year flood.

The City Police and Fire Departments provided rescue services for residents of the Avery complex as well as other areas in the City.

Both Police and Fire Departments assisted in transporting residents to a temporary shelter area in City Hall.

The City continues to coordinate debris removal efforts at the Avery complex and throughout the City.

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