On the night of August 25 2017, a Category 4 storm made landfall here, a storm that would change Texas and the lives of Texans in ways almost impossible to count.
As you may recall, as Hurricane Harvey hit the fourth largest city in the nation, the country’s focus turned to epic rainfall in Houston. It caused the most disastrous flooding in U.S. history, according to a report issued by Harris County back in June. Statewide, 68 people were killed in the storm.
Texas Standard reported from the Texas Gulf Coast during Harvey, watching the rescues and the rescue attempts as the rain continued to fall. And in the days, weeks and months since Harvey, the focus has largely remained on Houston. In Rockport, it wasn’t the rain – it was the wind. And it left this tourist town looking like a war zone.
A year later, Karl Hielscher of the Rockport Yacht Club looks out at some 50 or so small sailboats, deep in the Aransas Bay. It’s a junior sailing regatta..which almost didn’t happen this year.
“Many of the volunteers who are hosting this for us – retired and semi-retired folks that live here – still don’t have their homes put back together,” Hielscher says. “And they still wanted to put this on for the youth.”
Hielscher says the community takes a defiant attitude toward the storm. This weekend, they’ll host a “Welcome Back Harvey” party.
There are many reasons to celebrate in Rockport – at least for some. After Harvey, Rockport schools were closed and students were sent to neighboring districts. On Wednesday schools will reopen for the new year, albeit with fewer kids. And the high school gymnasium flattened by Harvey yet to be rebuilt.