Most of the trash is gone. The air no longer smells of mildew, and some businesses are slowly getting back to their feet. However, for Port Aransas, the road to recovery after Hurricane Harvey still has enormous roadblocks. This summer, those roadblocks may have a chance to shrink...but only a chance.
Life in Port Aransas hasn't quite gotten back to normal. The courthouse and police station were completely destroyed by the hurricanes, so temporary offices have been set up in city hall and other government buildings. Because the police station had the only jail, officers have to transport arrestees 45 minutes away to Corpus Christi.
The city is trying to rebuild...but there's one issue.
There's very little money to rebuild with.
The Tourist Town with Nowhere to Stay
Port Aransas relies on visitors for revenue. In the month after Hurricane Harvey, city officials estimate that they lost $3 million in hotel taxes alone. The Coastal Bend region is the 6th most popular tourist destination in the nation, and it generated $1.3 billion in revenue in 2016. Without tourism, the Coastal Bend region will not be able to rebuild itself.
Loss of revenue on that scale means operating budgets wither, and city services disappear. Cities are crippled by that scale of loss.
As these cities prepare for Spring Break (a major injection of revenue in a normal year) and for summer tourism, they're relying on the influx of Texas vacationers to give them the money they need to speed along their recovery. The largest issue they're facing? Many hotels, motels, and rental units aren't ready to house visitors yet.
Of the 4,000 rental units in Port Aransas, only 20% remained open a couple months after Hurricane Harvey. More are open now, but many of those hotels aren't paying taxes to the city yet (as part of a relief plan for small businesses). Cities are taking the losses now because they know that the key to the Coastal Bend's long-term recovery is the hotel business.
Despite all that, Port Aransas officials have faith in their fellow Texans. They have faith that tourists will return to their city, not only out of solidarity–but because the one thing that Hurricane Harvey didn't destroy was the beautiful shoreline that made the Coastal Bend region a national destination in the first place.
And as long as they have the beach, the community will endure.
Call (888) 400-2101 for Help with Your Windstorm Claim
Arnold & Itkin helps people rebuild when disaster strikes. If your insurance company is delaying your claim or low-balling you, we'll help you fight off those cheap pressure tactics. We've forced companies to pay billions of dollars to our clients to help them get their normal lives back.
The sooner that Port Aransas can get relief, the sooner the city will be thriving again. Speak with us if you want help expediting your insurance claim.