WeatherHurricane HQ


#HARVEY: Four years ago, Hurricane Harvey changed the face of the Coastal Bend

hurricane harvey virgin mary statue.png
Posted at 12:53 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 18:13:14-04

If you lived here in the Coastal Bend in 2017, today is a day you'll no doubt never forget.

Aug. 25, 2017.

Four years ago today marks the anniversary of Hurricane Harvey.

The storm left places in ruins. Peoples' lives changed forever.

And once the sun came out, we also learned what we -- as the Coastal Bend community -- can do together.

The power of Hurricane Harvey.

The Category 4 hurricane roared onshore in the dark of night, with winds gusting over 150 miles an hour.

Storm surges up to 12 feet high.

A deluge of rain.

Rockport and Aransas Pass decimated.

And from space, the satellite imagery shows it all: The storm rapidly intensifying over the warm waters of the Gulf.

KRIS 6 News Chief Meteorologist Dale Nelson headed up the KZTV and KRIS weather coverage the night Harvey made landfall, foreshadowing the inevitable for areas of the region.

“(Areas) will be annihilated by this Category 4 hurricane,” he said on-air at the time. “I hate to use words like that -- I really do -- but that is exactly what's going to take place.”

And the thousands of people in Rockport and Aransas Pass who didn’t heed evacuation orders experienced it firsthand.

“It sounded like a freight train, and I watched the ceiling on the second floor flutter as it ripped off the roof,” said one resident.

Others who did heed the warning waited anxiously from safety, not knowing what they'd come home to.

“The first thing I thought -- we would have died in here if we would have stayed,” a member of the Rojas family in Robstown. “We left, and we are alive, so I just wish this wouldn't have happened. We would've stayed, and we left so we're alive. I just wish this wouldn't have happened.”

“I saw pictures but it, the pictures don't look as bad until you come and step in it,” said a Port Aransas resident at the time.

Local, state and federal officials responded in the days, weeks and months to come.

“The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery housing missions the nation has ever seen,” they said.

But in the end, countless Coastal Bend residents remembered what truly matters most.

“I came over here around 4 o'clock Saturday morning to make sure I still had a house,” one local resident said, crying. “Do you know my house is here? It's just material things, and I'm alive and my friends alive that's about all I can say.”

When times are tough, they say the tough get going. And once again, the Coastal Bend community came together to help each other in its time of need.