Hurricane Harvey blew into Palacios with a vengeance Friday night. Officials ordered a mandatory evacuation from the coastal town, which sits between Rockport and Houston, and where memories of Hurricane Carla over 50 years ago still linger. Locals say that storm pushed the town five miles inland.
Paula Whitney owns the Peaceful Pelican bed and breakfast, and says Palacios — pronounced PU-LA-SHUS — is a place where anyone can fit in and have a good time.
She decided to stay for the hurricane, despite evacuation orders.
“I was afraid, you know? There was a feeling of dread that comes over you just before the things starts showing up because you’re never really sure how bad it’s gonna be,” she says.
After the storm, Whitney says she drove around surveying the town, sending pictures out of homes to friends who had left and saying, “Look, it’s okay.”
David King is a Methodist pastor and says Palacios is a nice, quiet community — basically a little fishing village with one stoplight.
King evacuated to a La Quinta Inn in College Station where he watched the storm grow from a category 2 to category 4 hurricane on the news. But King says Palacios fared better than some of the other coastal towns in the region.
King is in touch with Whitney and says she’s requested supplies like rakes, chainsaws, and heavy duty garbage bags to pick up all of the tree debris. He says the people of Palacios will band together to get the town back on track.
“That’s just the kind of town it is. …There’s a very generous spirit in that community. If we’ve got something that we can help you out with, we’re gonna do it,” King says.
Written by Caroline Covington.