The trip with the collected disaster relief supplies to the Aransas Pass church of Christ also gave us first-hand knowledge of area damage and what was needed. Corpus Christi (on the west side of the storm, having seawall protection from water surge) had outside wind damage to trees, light fixtures/poles, with minimal scattered roof structure. Businesses were open as usual.
As we were crossing the bridge to Gregory-Portland, there was more noticeable wind damage, but mainly outside affecting trees, poles and roofs. Businesses were open and busy.
Arriving in Aransas Pass and closer to Rockport: both with wind and water damage, similar to scenes of Puerto Rico and the islands. There was a lot of outside damage with partial to total structure destruction and the roadsides were piled high with debris. Some 2-lane roads are now only 1-lane wide. Wal Mart and Lowe’s were open for business, despite the structure repairs being in progress.
We were met at the church building by Nancy L’Herde, wife of minister Donny L’Herde. Nancy is also a locally raised girl and husband Doug is from Port Aransas. The church has two separate buildings like our facility. Most of the windows of the old auditorium were sealed closed years ago and now houses the minister’s study, classrooms, and fellowship hall. It only received roof damage in one classroom and therefore there is floor damage in other classrooms, otherwise okay. Three of the classrooms are set-up like a grocery store. Since most of the area churches suffered severe to total destruction, supplies are distributed on request. They had just delivered a trailer load to the Tivoli congregation.
The new auditorium doors were blown open with severe water damage throughout. Repairs were in progress. Everything in this building was damaged and had to be thrown out. Nancy stated that they were amazed at the response of help from the brotherhood. Tennessee Relief Center had arrived right after the storm with 18 wheeler truckload of supplies. Church members from Texas and several states had come to assist with clean-up and repairs. We met a couple from Knoxville, Tennessee, who were there with their 5th wheel camper to help. He had been stationed at the Corpus Naval Air Base in the 70’s. A couple from New York had flown in to help on the weekend. Cherokee Home for Children house parents and some of the older boys and girls had been down, but I’m not sure exactly where or what they did to help.
The specific needs at this time, are people with building knowledge and skills, since a lot of houses that belong to members of the church are damaged. Most are elderly and retired on mixed income. Again similar to our congregation. Gift cards to Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart are very useful, so that groceries, gasoline, medicine, and home repair supplies can be bought.
If you give a gift card, please put the money amount on the front of the card with magic marker, so they will know how much they are giving out. Please put gift cards in the collection plate so we can keep track of the amounts received. We will send them by registered mail due to the theft problems.
Thank you for your response to the needs of our fellow brothers and sisters! Like a lot of people, they do not have insurance, no flood insurance and the fixed income is reality to those in the storm area. This is going to be an on-going situation for several years!
Henry & Mary Kattner