2017-2018 Winter Texan Season and
the Impact of Hurricane Harvey
Will Coastal RV Parks Be Open for Business?
Logan Hawkes / Carla Land
Corpus Christi -- Needless to say, we are already getting inquiries from winter travelers wanting to know what affect will Hurricane Harvey have on the upcoming 2017-2018 Winter Texan season.
At the time of this writing, it is difficult for us to provide a definitive answer to that question for a number of reasons. First, it depends upon which area in Texas is of interest to you? Obviously, if readers are asking the question, they are either planning on wintering in the coastal areas of Texas or at least planning on visiting the coast during the upcoming season. But the specific part of the Texas coast you plan on visiting will determine the best answer to your question.
The greatest impact of Hurricane Harvey (as of this writing) has been from Nueces County (Corpus Christi) in the Texas Coastal Bend and north up the coast to the Louisiana border. In terms of wind destruction and damage, hardest hit has been Port Aransas, Ingleside, Aransas Pass, Rockport-Fulton, North Padre Island (including the Padre Island National Seashore), Sea Drift and Port Lavaca. Significant wind damage has also been reported in Corpus Christi and in Victoria, Goliad, Gonzalez and surrounding communities of the mid-coast region.
As with most tropical storm systems, damages range from catastrophic to minimum, depending on many factors. That being said, there is little question the most damaged communities include Port Aransas, Ingleside, Aransas Pass, Rockport-Fulton and Port Lavaca. But wind damages have been reported on a much wider area, meaning all communities and areas from the Coastal Bend to the Upper Coast have suffered to one extent or another.
Another serious tragedy comes at the hand of near-biblical rainfall and heavy flooding that ravaged a large area of the Upper Coast and the Southeast Texas region of the state. While the rains continue to fall at the time of publication of this report, already 25-30 inches of rain have fallen in the Houston area over a 60-hour period, with much more rain in the forecast. And that is expected to worse in the hours and days ahead. Forecasters have been predicting a real possibility that Harvey will be pushed back out into the Gulf where it could regain much of its destructive power before drifting back over coastal areas of the upper Texas coast.
As you can see, determining what the full damages will be and how quickly clean up and restoration can take place is and will remain difficult to determine until the storm is gone and officials can survey the extent of the deadly storm.
Our editors will remain diligent in the days ahead in contacting officials at communities, RV parks, senior centers, hotels and lodges and rental property owners all across the affected areas,and we are committed to report this information to you in a timely manner over the coming days and weeks.
That being said, there is some definitive information we can pass along at this early stage. Texans, like many Americans, especially coastal residents, are a determined lot. They suffer storm tragedy and are generally resilient and determined. They pick up the pieces and move forward, and usually with haste. While clean up and rebuilding (in some cases), can take time, those with an investment in the Winter Texan travel season will be quick to pick up the pieces and move forward with speed. In general terms, that means if it is humanly possible to be ready for the upcoming season, it should be "business as usual."
That said, of course, it all depends on the availability of labor, material and financial support for cleanup and reconstruction projects. That, of course, would apply only to facilities, businesses and attractions that were damaged by the storm, and to the degree that damage must be repaired or replaced.
Obviously, no one at this stage can possibly know the answer to that question, but as one RV park operator near Corpus Christi reported this week, he is confident he will be ready for the start of the season before winter visitors begin arriving, and in his words, "we will have new and better facilities than ever before."
Stay tuned for updates in the days and weeks ahead as we attempt to keep you informed on the extent and location of damages and schedules for opening this fall season.