The news reports are showing many people still don't have access to their homes, or property. They can't survey the damage and start the process of regaining their lives.
After Ike, it was a long time before most of the residents of the Bolivar Peninsula could return. Even when they were finally allowed back in, many found nothing left. Everything that was theirs was either in debris piles across the intracoastal canal, or a miles north near a small community across Galveston Bay.
I know a few of these people. Some rebuilt; some sold the land; all lost something that can never be replaced.
I made a few trips along the Bolivar Peninsula during the cleanup operation. It was a strange sight. Large machinery piled the debris, which was hauled away. Sand was pushed into piles and relocated. Every operation had a few dozen spotters and every truck passed under an elevated tower with spotters. Their job? Look for the bodies of people that hadn't been found.
It's a bizarre sight when the power of water literally washes everything away. Nothing remains, except sand and puddles of water. When it's miles of land and you know what once was there, it brings sobering thoughts.