BREAKING NEWSROCKPORT & CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex. (Heartland Newsfeed/UPI/Reuters) — Hurricane Harvey made landfall into south Texas as a category 4 hurricane around 10:00 pm Central time last night, resulting in major damage along the gulf coast between Corpus Christi and Galveston. Among those heavily hit include Aransas Pass, Rockport, Fulton, Lamar, Holiday Beach and other communities. Shortly after the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years moved inland Saturday, torrential rainfall and 130 MPH winds battered the region, resulting in roughly a quarter million customers without power, according to Texas utility companies in the region. Harvey became the strongest storm to hit Texas, the heart of the U.S. oil and gas industry since 1961. Rockport, which is 30 miles north of Corpus Christi, was hit the hardest before downgrading to a Category 1 hurricane after landfall, with several homes collapsing and many buildings suffering serious damage. Joel Valdez and Frank Cook were among those chose not to evacuate. “It was terrible,” Valdez told Reuters. “The storm ripped off part of my roof of my trailer around 4 am and I could feel the whole house move.” Valdez chose to stay to look after his animals. “I have these miniature donkeys and I don’t know where they are,” he said as he sat in a Jeep with windows smashed by the storm. “If you have something left of your house, you’re lucky,” Cook noted as he surveyed the damage to his vehicle. Prior to landfall, Rockport mayor Charles J. Wax told anyone stay behind to write their names and Social Security numbers on their arms for identification purposes in case of death or injury. Rockport-Fulton High School, a hotel, a senior housing complex and other buildings suffered structural damage, according to emergency officials and local media, some of which were being used as shelters. The county courthouse and historic downtown area suffered considerable damage. According to a report from KIII, Rockport city manager Kevin Carruth stated at least 10 people were treated for injuries related to Hurricane Harvey. 22 members of the Rockport Fire Department are hunkered down at the fire station, according to fire chief Steve Sims in an interview with ABC News. Currently stranded as well are three Carnival cruises and a Royal Caribbean ship, holding a total of 20,000 passengers heading for the Port of Galveston, which closed at noon Friday. Texas governor Greg Abbott has been in contact with President Donald Trump and the directors of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency about governmental response to the hurricane. Written by Heartland Newsfeed editor-in-chief Jake Leonard in Nokomis, Ill., Reuters writer Brian Thevenot in Rockport and Corpus Christi, Tex. and UPI writers Sam Howard, Andrew V. Pestano, Ed Adamczyk, Danielle Haynes and Daniel Uria as part of continuing coverage of Harvey continues.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.