Strong storms have brought fresh challenges to both coasts this March, but communities are still hurting from last year's disastrous hurricanes and wildfires. Here's a quick roundup of current coverage.

In a multimedia presentation, The New York Times reports on the continuing hardship of neighborhoods near Houston's flood-control reservoirs, where the Corps of Engineers made a deliberate decision to flood homes in order to spare the city's downtown from damage during Hurricane Harvey's epic rains. That practice was long-established Corps policy, but most homeowners in the affected area were not aware of the risk, the Times reported (see: "How a Community Was Flooded to Save Houston," by Leslye Davis, Ray Whitehouse, and Eric Maierson). "Our community never should have been developed," one resident told the paper.

In a followup story, the Times focused on opportunistic investors who have snapped up hundreds of homes in the flooded parts of Houston with the goal of flipping the properties (see: "Houston Speculators Make a Fast Buck from Storm's Misery," by Simon Romero). Speculators shrug off the disapproval of some locals: "People call me a vulture when they learn what I do," speculator Nick Pelletier told the paper. "In reality, I'm offering homeowners solutions." Brian Spitz, president of Big State Home Buyers, told the Times, "We’re like the first responders, critical to getting the economy moving again, equipped to take on the risk."

Meanwhile, some Puerto Rico residents are still without electric power, the New York Daily News reported (see: "Six months after Hurricane Maria, parts of Puerto Rico still in the dark," by Elizabeth Elizalde and Robert Dominguez). "About 10% of Puerto Rico is still without power, particularly in the mountainous and rural areas, and occasional outages still plague larger cities like the capital of San Juan," the paper reported. "Of the roughly 40,000 small businesses on Puerto Rico — which employ more than 80% of private sector workers, or about 556,000 people, according to the Small Business Administration — about one-fifth remain shuttered due to the storm."

The US Army Corps of Engineers has set the goal of restoring power to 95% of the island by the end of March, CNN reported, but the number of residents currently in the dark is still above 100,000 (see: "Power and plantains are back -- for some -- six months after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico," by Leyla Santiago).

National numbers show that some hard-hit homeowners in disaster areas are behind on their mortgage payments, the Inman News reported (see: "Wildfires, hurricanes triggered Q4 mortgage delinquencies: CoreLogic," by Gill South). "CoreLogic’s December 2017 Loan Performance Insights report showed that two- and three-month loan delinquency rates more than doubled in Sonoma and Napa counties between October and December 2017 after the North San Francisco Bay wildfires," Inman reported. "Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria also left their mark, with serious delinquency rates — defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure — reported in the Houston and Miami metropolitan areas doubling between September and year-end, while in Puerto Rico’s largest city, San Juan, serious delinquencies increased fourfold, according to CoreLogic’s chief economist Frank Nothaft."