Rockport Mayor Says Much of Town Won’t Be Rebuilt Following Harvey

October 19, 2017

The mayor of the Gulf Coast community of Rockport says Hurricane Harvey destroyed about a third of the town and that 30 to 35 percent of it will probably never be rebuilt.

Mayor Charles “C.J.” Wax said during a panel discussion Tuesday in Victoria that only about 300 businesses out of the 1,300 in Rockport have reopened since Harvey came ashore in August.

Wax says people know Rockport as the city of trees but most were lost as crews have removed nearly 800,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris.

Sept. 30, 2017. A house severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas. Photo by Laurel Jones.

A town heavily dependent on tourism, Rockport saw four of its five main tourist attractions either destroyed or damaged beyond the point of use, Wax said. “This isn’t going to happen tomorrow or the next day — this is going to be several years before we are anywhere close to where we were,” Wax said. “The impact next year is going to be severe.”

Wax was joined by three other mayors of communities devastated by Harvey. They spoke as part of a discussion hosted by the Texas Tribune.

Port Aransas Mayor Charles Bujan told the panel that 75 percent of the homes in his community were either severely damaged or destroyed.

According to the Texas Tribune, Port Aransas’ tax base has shrunk from $2.9 billion to $1.6 billion as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

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