The majority of buildings in the Texas Gulf Coast town of Rockport, once a regional tourist attraction, were obliterated by Hurricane Harvey and its catastrophic wind gusts that reached up to 132 mph in the area.
In all, roughly 60 percent of buildings in the town of 10,645 residents were rendered completely unusable, while 35 percent of buildings were destroyed outright, Rockport Mayor Charles Wax told Fox News.
“We’re getting better every day,” Wax told host Kelly Wright, choking back tears. “We still don’t have any water, sanitary sewer, or electricity. But we have a lot of food outlets that are providing food to my people during the day, and I am talking to you on a cellphone.”
The mayor described the process by which Texas authorities determined the extent of Harvey’s destruction throughout his town.
“We had Texas Task Force 1 that was sent down here by Governor Abbott, and they were here practically before the storm left,” Wax explained. “They have physically touched every structure in this county. Their report, turned into our emergency operations center, they estimate 35 percent of the community is completely destroyed.
“Of the remaining 65 percent, another 30 to 35 percent of that will never be occupied again,” he added, noting that those structures will have to be razed to the ground before they can be rebuilt.
While the property damage was severe, Wax remained thankful that Harvey did not prove as deadly as it could have.
“As of right now, even with a Category 4 storm hitting us right on the front porch we have a total of two of our citizens that we lost,” he said. “That’s all. So we count our blessings every day.
Vice President Mike Pence visited Rockport on Thursday, where he toured the ruined city and helped residents remove debris from their home.
“President Trump sent us here to say we are with you,” Pence said. “The American people are with you. We are here today. We will be here tomorrow, and we will be here every day until this city and this state and this region rebuild bigger and better than ever before.”