Recovering From Hurricane Harvey

The last few weeks have altered my life and the lives of many of my friends and neighbors profoundly. Seeing the devastation that Hurricane Harvey wrought on South Texas has been life changing. Though my home and most in Corpus Christi escaped the full fury of the storm, high winds severely damaged buildings in Rockport, Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Ingleside, Refugio and other coastal areas. Farther up the coast, in towns like Victoria, Wharton and Houston, there was severe damage from flooding.

After weathering the storm at home with my wife Debbie in Corpus Christi, I traveled across the district, helping where I could visiting command centers, relief workers, victims, businesses and communities hit by the storm. The damage was terrible, with houses reduced to scrap wood, tree limbs everywhere, boats in yards and RVs crushed like tin cans. Luckily, the number of lost lives in the district I represent was low, thanks to evacuations, proper preparations and the grace of God. Our prayers, of course, are with the families and friends of those who did not survive and those who lost so much.

I cannot adequately thank the countless community leaders, law enforcement members, disaster relief workers and others who were bold in the face of adversity – operating command centers, rescuing civilians and caring for our communities. Our state officials, led by Governor Abbot were also extremely helpful in our time of need. While Hurricane Harvey destroyed many buildings and homes in the district, South Texans are strong and we will rebuild.

Over the last two weeks, I was moved, touched and inspired by the way the entire nation came to our aid; sending food, water, supplies and volunteers. I was grateful for the show of support from President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and various members of the cabinet, who all came to Texas to survey the damage and lend a hand. Finally, I am also thankful for the tremendous support from my colleagues in Congress, who moved swiftly to pass legislation to provide Texas the disaster aid it needs to begin the rebuilding process. Friday, Congress put aside politics and sent a bill to President Trump that will provide $15 billion in aid to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey’s destruction. Moments like these show that we are not just Texas strong, we are America strong.

As we move forward, it's important to continue to work together as a community, and help each other. As always, if you, or someone you know, needs help, please contact my district office at 361-884-2222.

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