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Local leaders brief Abbott on Hurricane Hanna damage

Posted at 9:09 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 23:13:32-04

Leaders of a variety of government agencies in Nueces and Kleberg Counties briefed Gov. Greg Abbott about the damage left behind by Hurricane Hanna.

He also got an update on the human cost.

"The good news is the fact that through this hurricane there were no lives lost in Nueces County or Kleberg County, which is always the top priority,” Abbott said.

A priority for county leaders, when it comes to rebuilding plans, is fixing damaged piers, including a local landmark.

“If Padre Island was a body, then it’s heart was Bob Hall Pier,” Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said.

Abbott urged Canales and other local leaders to create assessments of the damage to their facilities and submit them to FEMA Regional Administrator Tony Robinson to secure funding for repairs.

“(Robinson) is the person with the checkbook who’s going to be able to assist financially with a lot of the damage that has taken place,” he said.

Canales is pleased with the state's response, not only to the hurricane, but also the battle with COVID-19 which which the storm coincided.

“There have been constants," she said. "And the constant is the safe harbor that the State of Texas has given to me.”

People forced out of their homes and into shelters because of the storm led to concerns of novel-coronavirus spread among those displaced residents, but Abbott expressed optimism on that front.

“It’s good that no one is in a shelter because that means that is one location less where the transmission of COVID-19 could be taking place,” he said.

The governor concluded his comments with a coronavirus warning.

“People need to understand very importantly -- just because a hurricane has swept through here does not mean it has swept out COVID-19," he said. "COVID-19 is still here. It’s not going away."