For the past week, CCMB has been reflecting and remembering the impact that Hurricane Harvey had on each of us here in the Coastal Bend. As we go into this holiday weekend, we are, once again, thankful for the tenacity and fortitude shown by our beloved community.
Hurricane Harvey: A Corpus Newbie
When my husband graduated from ER residency last June, we were just longing for stability. Our sons were one and three years old, and we wanted to slow down and enjoy time together as a family. We chose Corpus Christi for proximity to our family in Texas, coastal living, which we fell in love with in Florida, and low cost of living to help us pay off the medical school loans quickly. We moved to North Padre Island the first week of August, and we immediately started exploring and falling in love with this area.
Less than a month later, we have a category 3 hurricane aiming straight for our new home and surrounding area.
We were watching the forecast and initially downplayed the potential impact (after all, we just went through this last year, and the storm ultimately wasn’t as bad as feared. Plus what are the chances that we would encounter hurricanes two years in a row?) My husband was scheduled to work Friday (the estimated day of hurricane impact) and then was supposed to be off for 9 days. We had plans to head to South Padre Island for a family vacation (obviously notsomuch now). Once the hurricane intensified, my husband learned that he would be staying at the hospital to work through the weekend/storm. We decided that I should evacuate with the kids and dog on Thursday to beat the storm and hopefully he would join me in Austin after the weekend. Our residency friends and now fellow North Padre residents decided to evacuate with us to my in-laws’ house in Austin since her husband was also scheduled to work through the hurricane.
The first 24 hours post-evacuation we just watched the weather channel constantly waiting and praying for our homes and communities. It was looking like it would be a direct hit, and I went from downplaying the chances of damage to freaking out about the impending devastation. And then right before the hurricane hit, there was a last minute shift thirty miles north- the eye of the storm moved north so North Padre Island was spared but Port Aransas and Rockport bore the brunt of it. It was just as we feared. Total devastation. Entire businesses and homes destroyed. Port Aransas was a town that we had just fallen in love with, and we’d eaten dinner there two nights before we evacuated. I couldn’t imagine the heartache and devastation seen throughout their communities: And then Houston got pummeled with rain destroying thousands of homes and entire lives.
My heart ached for those who lost everything, and I truly understand how fortunate we are to have anything.
Without a last minute shift, that would have been us.
We lived in a furnished home on an island with all of our possessions in a storage unit at the bottom of a hill in Corpus. Any flooding from the storm and our stuff in the storage unit would have been ruined, not to mention the furnishings in our rental home. We are so fortunate. In the days/weeks/months following, I was so encouraged by the beautiful stories of people coming together to help one another, save lives, and rebuild homes/lives.
It was absolutely gut wrenching to see such a beautiful little coastal city be absolutely brought to its knees.
Many tears were shed, many hugs were given, and we left in amazement of the resilience of the Texas spirit.
We will never forget August 25, 2017 and we will continue to pray for those so deeply effected by that day.
Here are a few pics we took during that emotional trip just after the storm.