CBDRG Hurricane Harvey Two Year Update


Two years have passed since Category Four Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast. Winds were recorded over 130 mph and peak rainfall as much as 70 inches. It caused an estimated $125 billion in damages and an estimated 300,000 structures were damaged or destroyed in Texas alone. Six of the 41 counties designated for individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were in the Coastal Bend: Aransas, Bee, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio. 

Two years after the storm, the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group (CBDRG), along with a number of other non-profit and volunteer groups in the area, continues to work diligently in the region to provide much-needed assistance to Coastal Bend residents. The board of directors, leadership, staff and numerous supporters of CBDRG have remained focused on three primary commitments following the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey:

  1. To help families to return their homes to safe, secure, habitable conditions.
  2. To keep the community together.
  3. To bring resiliency to the community.

CBDRG has worked along-side many other organizations to rebuild 37 homes, replace 40 manufactured homes and complete 92 repairs. They’ve been able to assist over 370 families with recovery efforts and have recorded over 116,000 hours in volunteer labor.

San Patricio County Commissioner and CBDRG Board Member, Howard Gillespie, shared the importance of long-term recovery organizations and why support for these group is still needed. “We’ve been assisting with recovery efforts for two years now. I’m the chairman of the disaster case management committee and we review cases every two weeks before they go to the unmet needs table. There are still people out there who need assistance. We review anywhere from 15 to 30 cases throughout the Coastal Bend area. As an organization and as part of a coalition, we want to be able to help as many families as we can until our community is fully recovered.”

“A few days after Hurricane Harvey rolled ashore, a big group of us met in Rockport and there were people advocating for CBDRG with knowing what we were doing in long-term recovery,” shared Rev. Beth Tatum, CBDRG Board President. “As I look back on the past two years, what I can say is we are South Texans.  We are people who believe in community and working together. We worked hard and we continue to work hard. This would not be possible without all of the resources that come together and make it happen.”

In order to keep recovery efforts going, CBDRG continues to seek out funds and volunteers who range from skilled laborers to general help. To learn more about the CBDRG, visit www.coastalbenddrg.org.