The first aerial photographs of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey’s onslaught on the Texas coast look grim. In Rockport, the drystack at Rockport Cove Harbor Marina is totally destroyed, with the walls blown out and dozens of boats stacked on each other. In Corpus Christi, boats have been tossed from docks onto the shore. In other parts of the Houston area, boats have floated from marinas into parking lots.
Tens of thousands of people have lost power across the region, while thousands in the Houston area are trapped in flood-ravaged streets. Harvey’s impact on the boating industry remains to be seen.
“The storm is still in progress, so we have no way to gauge how extensive the damage has been to the boating industry,” Michael Marx, executive director of the Boating Trades Association of Texas, told IBI.
Ken Lovell, director of the Boating Trades Association of Houston, also said that he has not been able to contact many marinas in the area. The dozen marinas that IBI attempted to call have had their phones disconnected. A Houston-area marina owner, Scott Rose, told IBI that the damage to Houston-area marinas was substantial, but he would not know the details for several days.
The latest weather reports show that Hurricane Harvey may move inland again on Wednesday, dumping many inches of rain over Houston and heading as far south as Louisiana. The tropical storm has left thousands of Texas residents stranded. The US Coast Guard said yesterday that it is receiving as many as 1,000 rescue requests per hour. The Coast Guard rescued more than 3,000 people yesterday in life boats and helicopters.
In the meantime, private boat owners have also taken their boats into the flooded streets of Houston to respond to rescue requests. Boat owners of the Cajun Navy, a group of private boat owners who organised after Hurricane Katrina, are undertaking multiple rescue missions, despite several boats being shot at when they were unable to reach the flood victims.
“We’re reading reports of people bringing their boats all the way from Florida and West Texas to be part of this rescue mission,” says Marx. “The rivers are beginning to crest with all this rain, so we’re expecting to see more flooding in the days ahead.”
The storm will continue to dump rain across the region before making landfall on Wednesday near the Texas/Louisiana border.