The Gulf Bend After Harvey Was An ‘Apocalyptic’ Scene

An Austin American-Statesman reporter who was on the scene said the city’s shelter, an elementary school, wasn’t fully prepared to care for the people taking refuge there.

By Rhonda FanningAugust 28, 2017 1:55 pm| ,

Much of Texas is now experiencing the second phase of the assault from Hurricane Harvey. But before the rains and floods inundated much of the Texas Gulf Coast, something incredible happened in the hours before Hurricane Harvey made landfall: It intensified from a category 2 storm to a category 4, causing 130 mph winds to slam into Rockport, north of Corpus Christi.

Jeremy Schwartz, investigative reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, witnessed the aftermath and says the damage in Rockport and neighboring Port Aransas was catastrophic.

“We were driving around there the last couple of days and saw [an] almost apocalyptic type image, stuff that’s gonna take months to recover from, and I would imagine some of these places will never quite be the same,” he says.

Schwartz says the elementary school that was being used as the city’s shelter wasn’t fully prepared to support those in Rockport who didn’t evacuate. The school lost power, was flooded in parts and didn’t have cots or bedding so people slept on wet floors.

Schwartz says the Rockport shelter eventually closed and buses came to take people to San Antonio and Austin. But Schwartz says they may have to travel as far as Dallas because shelters in those cities are starting to fill up.

 

Written by Caroline Covington.