Hurricane Harvey hit North Padre Island and Mustang Island as it pounded its way into Texas. Our islands were the first to feel its fury. We had enough warning to be able to prepare as best as we could and evacuate the family and our pets.
Our return to North Padre Island was filled with amazement as we realized that the only real damage to our home was our fence and our fruit trees (and the live oak out front).
Needless to say, we will need to replace our fence and insurance status here in TX will become very questionable in the next 2 days. The cost to replace the damaged portions of my fence is less than a deductible.
Meanwhile, I've spent my days trying to get the Black Marlin ready to open again (may be a couple of weeks) and our gelato shop has been closed since prior to our evacuation.
Things will be tight for awhile and any assistance, no matter how small, will add up to help us take care of the fence so our dogs can reclaim their yard.
We've estimated repairs for the fence and both gates to be $2500.
As the days pass and I spend time in my beloved Port Aransas, trying to help folks pick up what's left I realize that again, I've been blessed. The Black Marlin suffered very little damage. I almost feel guilty because the "things" I love--home, business, and work--are all fine, oh but the people I love... that's where I see and feel the hurt.
Kate, who lives in Port A but works in Ingleside, had a house destroyed and the school where she worked damaged. It will take time before she has a clean dry place to live or work to go back to. We are feeding her and volunteers helping her today.
Bobby, struggled to find a place close to work for a long time. He did, just a few weeks before Harvey. He had to evacuate. His Jeep blew the head gasket about an hour and a half out of town. Today he gets his Jeep towed to San Antonio for repair, but yesterday he found his new "home" in Port Aransas had been filled with water and almost everything he left behind is now garbage.
Charles is trying to find a place for his family and himself to live, and reliable transportation so he can come back to work. In the meantime, they have a few garbage bags of clothes.
Fred, who lived in Rockport, has lost his home.
My lead line cook, Katie, had roof damage in the apartment where she lives. It leaked all over her mattress. You can imagine with no AC, no circulating air, but lots of humidity and warmth... well, she has no mattress and renters insurance already said they wouldn't cover it (told you above, TX insurance has issues).
Luc, my pastry cook, had to grab what he could and get our of Port A, only to return to find that the place where he and his wife lived won't be habitable for some time. Her job is at the resort where they lived. So both are forced to be away from home (and work) for awhile and have no income at all. If we found them a place to live temporarily, at least one of them could get back to work.
Jordan, who moved here from Oklahoma, away from family and has made her own new world now finds it crashing around her. The apartment in which she was living will not be habitable. She has her truck, but it did have some water damage and needs new tires. She lost everything she left behind when she evacuated. Now, she too will have to find somewhere to live.
These are my friends. These are my work family. These are my employees. Imagine that times 4000. That's what I see when I go "into town"--people who just need a little bit of help and some hope so they can keep on pushing to come back from Harvey.
If you plan on helping this GoFundMe Campaign, please, when you make the contribution make a note of where you would like the $ to go (ex. : "Bobby", "Kate" "anyone"). As their bills come in and their funds run out, I'll be sure to get them what they need (tires, mattresses, new work clothes...)
I will be posting pictures of receipts and those who are benefiting from your generosity.