The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services says 1,200 foster children were safely relocated as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
Spokesperson Patrick Crimmins says they began to prepare as soon as they knew the storm was coming, noting that residential treatment centers that provide in-house counseling and mental health services for foster children were located in the Corpus Christi, South Texas and Houston areas.
Crimmins explains that all of those facilities are required to have an emergency disaster plan that outlines what they would do if they needed to evacuate their sites for several days. About 24 facilities actually did have to evacuate.
Most providers relocated the kids to other facilities they have in the state.
“Some of them went to churches … as part of their disaster plan,” Crimmins says. “We had one residential facility that had to go to a Motel 6. And then one … they were apparently not able to go to their backup facility, so they actually went home with some of the facility staff members.” In that case, there were apparently a couple of large houses where the children could stay.
He adds that it’s not clear yet when the foster kids will be able to return to the residential facilities.
Vice President Mike Pence was in the Texas Gulf Coast Thursday to survey the damage from Hurricane Harvey.
From KUT News in Austin, Matt Largey reports the vice president went to the town of Rockport, which was devastated when Hurricane Harvey made landfall nearby. Vice President Pence met with survivors and helped clear tree branches from one of their homes.
Pence also praised the efforts of local, state, and federal responders and said the government is dedicated to helping Texans rebuild. “I want to urge every American to do what Texans who themselves are oftentimes dealing with hardship in their own households and their own family are doing – and that is find a way to help,” Pence said.
Pence added President Donald Trump will be back in Texas on Saturday to visit Houston and other flood ravaged areas.
After shutting down during Hurricane Harvey, the Port of Corpus Christi reopened Thursday – several days ahead of schedule.
Sergio Chapa with the San Antonio Business Journal explains the port did reopen with some restrictions.
“The conditions that they set is that only vessels with a 43-foot draft could enter the port,” Chapa says. “Right now they can only have one-way traffic and it can only be day-time traffic.”
A tweet from the Port of Corpus Christi this morning says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are looking forward to removing all channel restrictions ASAP.