Texas residents return to devastation after Harvey

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The first wave of disaster from Hurricane Harvey seems to be drawing to a close 10 days after the storm made landfall. Under feet of water, the town of West Columbia is rotting. (KFSN)

The first wave of disaster from Hurricane Harvey seems to be drawing to a close 10 days after the storm made landfall. Under feet of water, the town of West Columbia is rotting.

"Just devastation," Justin Ellison of West Columbia said. "Everybody's lost something."

About 4,200 people call the community home, but 10 days after Harvey, the floodwaters have destroyed the structures and a lot more.

"It's their lives," Ellison said. "It's what they've worked all their lives for. Half of them are family homes. It's their tradition. They've always lived here. It's their heritage. And it's gone."

Mandatory evacuations ended Tuesday, but West Columbia is still mostly a ghost town. Electricity and sewer service are still out and police told me they're advising people to get in and check their homes then leave.

Further south in Sweeny, another 3,700 people are starting to trickle home as water levels dropped. What they're finding is nothing like what they left.

"Man it just shocked my heart to see all this disaster back in there and it been doing every time we get serious, you know, about 10 to 15 inches of rain, it gets flooded back in there," Lonnie Higgins of Sweeny said.

The proud people here are ready to reboot, to trash what's destroyed and to keep what can be kept, but they're expecting a lot of hard work and possibly even more if mold sets in while they're gone.

The Fresno County Farmer's Bureau has set up a relief fund for agriculture: http://www.fcfb.org/

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