Monday marked one and a half years since Hurricane Harvey roared ashore in the Coastal Bend and caused widespread devastation. Progress is being made restoring communities to the way they were before the storm, but there’s still years of work ahead of them.
“Do we have a long way to go?” Executive Director of the Red Cross of the Coastal Bend Alex Garcia asked. “Of course we do. It was devastating. Billions of dollars were lost.”
Garcia’s branch is part of the Red Cross’ 51-county Texas Gulf Coast Chapter which has been busy ever since Harvey’s arrival in August 2017.
“Six hundred and twenty thousand families we’ve already helped, and continue to help,” Garcia said. “And there’s others that still need long term recovery.
Some communities are further along in their Hurricane-recovery than others. Corpus Christi saw relatively high winds but fared better than cities like Rockport that were closer to the storms eye wall, where the strongest winds are found.
“Corpus Christi is still doing great,” Texas A&M University Corpus Christi student Nereyda Araujo said. “Just like it was before the storm hit.”
Araujo followed her mother’s advice and evacuated before Harvey made landfall when she returned she found some damage on campus.
“There wasn’t too much damage where I live,” Araujo, who lives off campus, said. “More [damage] to the school. There was a lot of repairs going on at the school, in the dorms. Other than that, it wasn’t a tragic story for me.”
But she knows the storm was a tragedy for a huge number of Texans. That’s why Hurricane Harvey crosses her mind from time to time even though it didn’t have a big impact on her directly.
“Just to know it’s capable to hit Texas, and it’s capable of destroying a lot of places, especially Houston,” she said.