The devastation by Hurricane Harvey touched all My Coastal World, the North Bay area, even if unequally. Portland and Gregory, at the southern end, received less wind and storm surge than the communities slightly to their north. Rockport and Fulton experienced the eye wall of Harvey with Category 4 winds on August 25.
Portland was the first to have power and water restored. Some of the retail businesses and restaurants opened within a few days. It became the closest place to escape the worst of Harvey for a few hours.
After a pleasant distraction of a family wedding, I finally made my first photo excursion to the Rockport Fulton area on September 12. Traveling north on Hwy 35, familiar landmarks and signage were changed or nonexistent. As a result, a turn was missed and my route change began in Fulton Harbor then proceeded beside Little Bay to Rockport Harbor.
Leaving Rockport on Business 35, the sight of boat barn in the Harbor was unbelievable. Although I knew it had been destroyed, I was not prepared for the visual image of the steel frames with boats remaining balanced or dangling inside.
Within a day, tree branches, limbs and trunks began appearing along the rights-of-way. Brightly colored tarps appeared on some roof tops and I would think those houses or businesses must not have suffered much damage. But driving down the same street a week or so later, there were new piles of sheetrock and other construction debris. The visible shell concealed the interior destruction.
By September 25, one-month Post-Harvey, all the communities in My Coastal World, continue the demolition and clean-up efforts. Piles of tree branches continue to appear beside piles of wood and construction debris. As soon as piles are removed from the city streets, a new pile takes its place.
Removing all the tree, fence, and building debris quickly filled the municipal and county transfer stations. Alternate “holding” areas were needed. Rockport, with the blessing of the Texas Department of Transportation, began dumping truck load after truck load on the median between the north and south bound lanes of Highway 35.
Now in My Coastal World, there remains many visual reminders of Harvey’s devastation but most homes have water and power restored. WIFI and cable tv seem to be hit or miss. Landline phones remain silent. Fuel and groceries are within a close driving distance to most people.
Gregory-Portland Schools have been in session with many new students enrolled. Ingleside School District opened its doors this week with an increase in students also. Aransas Pass schools are expected to have students in attendance by the end of the week. The Pirates from Rockport Fulton have been welcomed by the other community’s schools.
Most who evacuated have returned to attempt rebuilding of their lives. As demolition, clean-up, repair and rebuilding continues, My Coastal World is creating a fresh landscape which will welcome visitors once again.
#FultonStrong #RockportStrong #AransasPassStrong #InglesideStrong #InglesideontheBayStrong #GregoryStrong #PortlandStrong