Jackson County residents evacuated to New Braunfels

Kathryn Cargo By Kathryn Cargo

Aug. 25, 2017 at 5:12 p.m.
Updated Aug. 25, 2017 at 5:18 p.m.

Kevin Robinson Jr., 12, carries his belongings as he gets on a bus to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Harvey at the Jackson County Services Building in Edna.

Kevin Robinson Jr., 12, carries his belongings as he gets on a bus to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Harvey at the Jackson County Services Building in Edna.   Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

EDNA - For Felicia Turner, Jackson County's evacuation transportation was her family's only ticket away from the storm.

She, her five children aged from 7 to 18 and her husband planned to stay in their first-floor Edna apartment during Hurricane Harvey because they had no way out of the county. They were seven of 74 people who loaded up on Edna school buses to evacuate the county Friday morning. They were to be sheltered at Canyon Middle School in New Braunfels.

"I was really nervous," said Turner, 54, of Edna. "I didn't know how we were going to get out of here."

Joining Turner's family were her mother, sister and nephew and his family. All 12 of them were brought by city officials to the Jackson County Services Building.

"I've got my mother, too," the cook said. "She's disabled, so I think it's a blessing for us to get out of here."

Stay-at-home mom Brenda Sosa, 45, of Lolita, brought her husband and six children aged from 8 to 15 to be evacuated. The Sosa family would have had to stay in their trailer home if it had not been for the county's transportation services. They have transportation but didn't have the money to stay out of town.

"We would have run out of money," she said. "I'm very grateful. If it wasn't for them, I don't know, we'd probably have to sit it out, and there's no telling what would happen."

Sosa said in the event of an emergency, residents should always look for resources because that's how she found her family's way out. She saw a notification on Facebook about the evacuation buses.

"We didn't know what we were going to do," she said. "The trailer we live in is an older-model trailer, and we have a lot of trees around us, so we really didn't want to stay."

The safety of Sosa's children is her No. 1 priority regarding Hurricane Harvey.

"If it was just me and my husband, we probably would have rode it out," she said.

Because the hurricane intensified so quickly, the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center couldn't receive state aid, said Lori McLennan, deputy emergency management coordinator.

Edna Independent School District donated buses and drivers for the evacuation effort.

Those riding out the storm need to remember that once hurricane conditions come to Jackson County, emergency services won't be available.

"Not that we're going to turn them down; we will try to get there, but we can't promise anything," she said.

The storm surge for Jackson County is expected to be about 7 to 8 feet, McLennan said. Edna is prone to flooding. In 1994, the city had close to 4 to 6 feet of water from heavy rainfall.

Darlene Adams, 59, of Edna, had no way out of the county but said if the county didn't offer transportation, she was going to find a way out no matter what. She came with her granddaughter and friend.

"God woke me up; that's why I'm glad to be here this morning," she said.


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