Port Aransas was known as one of the best spring break locations in the South, but today, much of the city is unable to house tourists and vacationers. Although six months have passed since Hurricane Harvey drove a line through the town, the city’s residents are still greatly suffering from its two-week warpath.
The Fractured State of Port Aransas
While some Texas communities are well on their way to full recovery, Port Aransas is struggling to create temporary solutions for many of the city’s problems. For example, the police station and the courthouse are two of the various buildings that need to be torn down due to their label as “total losses.” Because of the slow recovery, the police chief of Port Aransas is currently sitting at a plastic table in his provisional office, which is situated next to empty audience seats in the chambers of the Port Aransas City Council. While ruined government buildings have yet to see temporary solutions, other problems continue to fester in Port Aransas.
Other worrisome matters that plague the town include:
- 90% of the town’s buildings are damaged.
- More than 100 homes are destroyed.
- Dozens of businesses are still shut down.
- There is currently no place in the city to house criminals.
- 25% of the 4,000 hotel rooms are available for use.
- It will take an estimated 3-5 years to achieve full recovery.
Spring Break Could Restore Life to Port Aransas
With spring break around the corner, Port Aransas officials are ready to house as many partygoers as possible. “We’re ready for them. Our operation plans are not going to change,” said the police chief of Port A. The city needs a breath of fresh air, and the answer could be the “10,000 to 20,000 hardcore partiers that are here every year.” While it is hard to believe that a police chief is asking a bunch of college students to party in his town, tourism was one of the major industries of Port Aransas before Hurricane Harvey came through. Officials are welcoming spring breakers to stimulate the city financially by enjoying the beautiful beaches and having a good time.
“If we can keep our head above water until we get some more condos and hotels up and running, I think we’re going to be just fine,” Said the police chief.