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5:45 PM: Community Focus

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A neat row of potted plants, all in bloom, greets visitors at the entrance of the Jassem family home in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Inside, decorative tassels dangle from the ceiling, with a golden-colored cloth on display. Children play around foam mattresses resting on a clean-swept concrete floor.

It has the feel of a family home, but the Jassems are living in a plastic tent. They are refugees from Syria, which they fled five years ago, for a patch of ground in rural Lebanon.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says reservoir releases will keep water flooding into some homes for up to two more weeks. He's urging people in the western part of the city to get out.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Maria Luisa is 12 years old. Her parents are divorced, and her mom just got a job at a new city. Things are not looking good. So Malu - that's the shortened version of her name, the version she prefers - puts on her headphones.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

At Yankee Stadium yesterday, a hometown fan made an appearance to cheer against the Red Sox.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Property owners started filing insurance claims before the rain even stopped. They wanted to get to the front of what's expected to be a long line of flood claims, according to Joel Moore, an independent insurance adjuster for Gulf Coast Claims in Houston.

"They filed claims before they evacuated," he says. "So they actually have no idea if there's damage or not. They just wanted to be at the front end of the curve."

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Some people have stayed in their homes, and that's been difficult, too, especially in low-income neighborhoods in east Houston. NPR's Rebecca Hersher talked to people there who are struggling to get the basics, like food, water and information.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Six days after Hurricane Harvey first crossed the Texas coast, Houston is still in rescue mode with people stranded in houses and apartments.

With the authorities overwhelmed by the scope of the flooding, private citizens have been rushing to Houston and towing their own boats to conduct rescues.

Rene Galvan has come to a makeshift boat launch on flooded Highway 90, looking for rescuers. In a soaked, blue hoodie, he sits anxiously in the bow of an aluminum boat, wondering how they're going to get to 14 members of his extended family who have been stranded by rising water.

A friend sent a photo to Jaime Botello's phone Wednesday that confirmed his fears: The house where his family has lived for 30 years is completely flooded.

"All the way to the top," he says.

And like most people in the Houston area, Botello, a welder who was at a shelter with his wife on Wednesday, doesn't have flood insurance. He says he can't afford it.

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