Hurricane Harvey: Central Texans with coastal property await word

Road closures and spotty conditions frustrate the anxious.


Frustrated by spotty reports on the ground and closed roads, Central Texans remained mostly in the dark about their Gulf Coast property Saturday afternoon after Hurricane Harvey made its catastrophic landfall Friday night as a Category 4 storm.

Port Aransas is often destination No. 1 for Austinites as they head to the sea.

“My family has property at the Beachhead Condominiums in Port A,” said Nicole Chism Griffin, director of communications for the Contemporary Austin. “(We are) having trouble getting any info at all due to all the road closures.”

Earl Maxwell, CEO of the St. David’s Foundation, owns a house on the bay side of the barrier island.

“Concerned, but no reports on our house,” he posted on Facebook. “Other pictures from PA are devastating.”

Elaine Garza, founder of Giant Noise public relations firm, shares a house at Port Aransas with friends.

“Still waiting to hear about Port A,” she said. “Early reports don’t sound good.”

Central Texas resident Tiffany Clark owns a house in Rockport in the Sailhouse community on Fulton Beach Road. She said she hasn’t heard from anyone about its condition, although Rockport Mayor C.J. Wax has announced that much of the nearby historic district was heavily damaged.

“I don’t have any resources at this moment,” Clark said. “I’m just reaching out to anyone and everyone to see if anyone can give me information.”

Images of damage from Port Aransas and Rockport filtered through social media regularly on Saturday, some of them unsourced and unconfirmed.

One digital lifeline for property owners is the Facebook page of Port Aransas Mayor Charles Bujan.

“Our police force is currently conducting recon on Hwy 361,” he posted. “We were able to get to (Mayan) Princess before the debris stopped them. I have heavy equip moving to clear the fields so we can get to town, have also dispatched two brush fire trucks with crews — we lost two of our trucks and all communication with the city or anyone for that matter.”

Other updates were being posted on the Facebook page of the Port Aransas South Jetty.

“I can’t find a working webcam on the Port Aransas beach, and I know most of them,” Rich Oppel, former American-Statesman editor, posted on Facebook. His family owns a condo at the Dunes there. “At the Aransas ferry, the car lanes are empty and quiet. No cars waiting. Mustang Island (Port Aransas) is eerily still for late August.”

“No electricity or way in/out yet but there are some pictures and from those it looks like Port A weathered the storm pretty well,” Austin resident Sharon Arnoult said. “Much better than Rockport.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Austin ISD adopts 2018-19 school calendar. Here’s what changed
Austin ISD adopts 2018-19 school calendar. Here’s what changed

The Austin district board Monday night approved the 2018-19 school calendar, and students will attend school one less day than this year. Here are the highlights: • Students will be back in class Monday, Aug. 20, but summer will come early as they get out May 24, 2019, the Friday before Memorial Day. • Students will attend school 176 days...
HIT-AND-RUN CASE: Car strikes motorcyclist, SUV then runs over motorcycle; both flee, police say 
HIT-AND-RUN CASE: Car strikes motorcyclist, SUV then runs over motorcycle; both flee, police say 

Austin police are looking for two drivers who left the scene of a hit-and-run early Sunday after the first one struck a motorcyclist and the second one ran over the victim’s motorcycle.   The motorcyclist was heading north on South Congress Avenue about 2 a.m. when someone driving a black Lexus in the opposite direction hit him while...
Group takes aim at Austin schools with names tied to Confederacy
Group takes aim at Austin schools with names tied to Confederacy

Days after one Austin district trustee was criticized for publicly calling out his peers for delaying a vote on changing school names with ties to the Confederacy, more than a dozen community members Monday night announced the creation of a work group to push the changes forward. The group of 15, formed by the East Austin Coalition for Quality Education...
Austin-area federal employees expected to return to work Tuesday
Austin-area federal employees expected to return to work Tuesday

As the federal government shutdown rolled into Monday — the only business day of the three-day closure — calls to affected Austin-area agencies went unanswered, building doors were locked and employees stayed home. At Fort Hood, 40 percent of about 6,000 civilian employees were told to not come into work. When reached by cell phone, Christopher...
New panel launching effort to identify Texas school finance fix
New panel launching effort to identify Texas school finance fix

Two years after the Texas Supreme Court suggested sweeping reforms to the school finance system, a newly formed state commission will hold the first of several meetings Tuesday in an effort to find a fix to the system by the end of December. The 13-member Texas Commission on Public School Finance, composed of school district officials, lawmakers and...
More Stories