Crossroads counties continue on road to recovery

Kathryn Cargo By Kathryn Cargo

Aug. 30, 2017 at 10 p.m.
Updated Aug. 30, 2017 at 10:55 p.m.

Cuero police officers, Sgt. Jesse Hernandez, left, and Capt. Steven Ellis, right, and Cuero firefighter Cory Mekush, middle, carry Barbara Mobley, 76, through almost 3 feet of water.  Mobley wanted to stay in her home on Stockdale Avenue even after relatives pleaded for her to leave. A police officer convinced her Tuesday to leave her home and to stay in a shelter.

Cuero police officers, Sgt. Jesse Hernandez, left, and Capt. Steven Ellis, right, and Cuero firefighter Cory Mekush, middle, carry Barbara Mobley, 76, through almost 3 feet of water. Mobley wanted to stay in her home on Stockdale Avenue even after relatives pleaded for her to leave. A police officer convinced her Tuesday to leave her home and to stay in a shelter.   Ana Ramirez for The Victoria Advocate

Crossroads counties are on their way to recovery after damage left from Hurricane Harvey and flooding the storm brought.

City crews continue to clean up debris from roads and American Electric Power personnel work around the clock to restore power as quickly as possible. Summer sunshine and blue skies braced the Crossroads once again Wednesday. County and city officials are thankful that residents continue to come together to ensure everyone has food and water and the debris gets cleaned up.

Goliad County

Everything is on track to get back to normal in Goliad, County Judge Pat Calhoun said. About 80 percent of Goliad has power, and about 50 percent of the rest of the county has power.

"Everybody is concerned because it feels like it's taking forever, but there is a lot of electricity that is down. AEP guys are getting to it as best that they can," he said. Calhoun lifted the county wide curfew Wednesday.

Officials and volunteers will continue to distribute water Thursday at the Goliad Memorial Auditorium until they run out or residents no longer need it. Food left to be distributed is limited. Portable showers, portable bathrooms and portable washing machines are also available at the auditorium.

"Once people tell us they don't need water anymore, we're going to ship it to other counties that were harder hit than we were," Calhoun said.

Super S Foods is receiving daily shipments of food, as well as the Dollar General.

The county has water, but it's still under a boil notice for consumption.

"We we're extremely lucky. Yes, there's a lot of tree damage and stuff," Calhoun said. "Structural damage was very minimal compared to the size the storm it was."

Refugio County

Circumstances are looking up for Refugio County, said county disaster spokeswoman Kristen Newman.

County officials plan to open a shelter at at the Refugio County Expo Center. It will be primarily for Refugio residents who don't have a place to go because of storm or flood damage .

All of Refugio is without water, but it should be up and running in two days, with a boil water notice for consumption. Industrial generators are on their way to the city to power the water plant. Refugio lost water because the town lost power. The rest of the county has water, which is being powered by generators that were brought in after the hurricane.

Power in the county could take up to three weeks to be restored, Newman said.

"Crews are working diligently to get our distribution lines up," she said.

The countywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be in place until further notice.

Clean up crews are clearing trees from the county towns. For debris to be picked up, residents need to place vegetation and building material debris in separate piles on the curbside away from any down power lines and not under any standing power lines.

The shelter set up by Joys Ministries Outreach is at capacity.

Distribution pods for water, food and ice are placed throughout the county at 1008 S. Alamo, Refugio, the Woodsboro Town Square, 909, 1st St., Bayside, 511 Bay St., Austwell and 111 S.H. 239, Tivoli.

County officials continue to monitor potential river and creek flooding and will close any roads if necessary. The only road closed as of Wednesday afternoon was S.H. 35.

"We've had some total loss of homes to down trees, down power lines, roofs completely blown off, siding torn off that kind of stuff," Newman said. "It's basically every spectrum from the worse that we've seen to total loss of house to just a few shingles missing."

Jackson County

Power is still an issue in Edna, as about 95 percent of the town has no electricity, said Sheriff Andy Louderback.

"We're inching closer," he said. "I would like for the consumers to know AEP is doing a tremendous job. They have over 600 people in the area actively working around the clock to get electricity back."

Power to a large percentage of the rural areas have been restored thanks to Jackson Electric Coop., Louderback said.

"Without power most, if not all, of our businesses are just not capable of operations," he said. "Some that are open and functional are mostly just on generator power."

Jackson county sustained mid to light damage in most areas and heavier damage in others. Some roads were flooded Tuesday, but have since been opened because water subsided.

"All in all we were very fortunate to be in our location when this hurricane struck," Louderback said.

The county curfew has been lifted, but that could change if problems arise.

Lavaca County

Some roads in Lavaca County remain closed, but they're on their way to opening back up, Sheriff Micah Harmon said.

"We're pretty much back to normal," he said.

The Navidad River continues to flood, but it's not a concern as it runs through rural areas.

Farmers and ranchers know to take precautions and move their livestock or equipment to higher grounds, Harmon said.

The following roads are still closed due to water or debris:

Farm-to-Market Road 530 at the Navidad River

S.H. 111 at the Lavaca River

Numerous county roads were also closed.

Calhoun County

Electricity in Port Lavaca could be restored by Saturday or later, said Mayor Jack Whitlow.

Water is running in Port Lavaca, but the city has a boil water notice for consumption.

City crews will pick up perished food from city trash cans Thursday and Friday.

Food and water will continue to be distributed at the Bauer Community Center and city hall.

H-E-B has been opening sporadically and gas availability is limited.

Harvey left the town substantially damaged with destroyed docks and large sunken vessels. The Bayfront Peninsula pavilion is covered by oyster shells and rocks, and the fishing peer was completely destroyed. The town has a lot of tree and roof damage, with some buildings that completely collapsed.

"People that can still stay out for a while, please do," Whitlow said. "It will be minimal amenities here."

DeWitt County

The county experienced flooding Tuesday, and some roads remain closed and some low-lying neighborhoods are still filled with water.

The county is in the damage assessment phase, said Sheriff Carl Bowen. As water recedes from low-lying neighborhoods, officials can assess the flood damage.

Only about 10 people remain at the county shelter at Cuero Intermediate School that is expected to close by the end of the week.

About 50 Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative customers are without power, and about 150 American Electric Power customers are without power in the county.

The mandatory evacuation for low-lying areas in DeWitt County was lifted Wednesday.

"The important thing here this was a hurricane, this was a dangerous weather event," Bowen said. "It came at us quickly. We went from a hurricane event right into a flood event. I think the real take away from this is nobody died. Everyone lived."


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