Folks this is likely my last update as there are too many things going on, including my own stuff..
Now as Paul Harvey is famous for saying: Now the rest of the story.. Well in my case here is some more information with my second “after Harvey” update…

Now that you know some of the skeleton details, we are now in a serious clean-up and restoration phase. As of yesterday AEP has restored power to basically all the City. Are there places within the City that still may be without power? Yes, there very may will be but we’ve tried to canvass the entire city to let AEP know who they may be that is still without power. We can only do so much. Some of you and others like you may also be on VEC. As far as we know VEC power has been restored as well.

As for cleanup I will start describing a little that started on Saturday the 26th. During the day as wind and rain began to calm down the City Crew (in this case Robert Bryant and Terry Jones) and City Police, along with a few members of the County Precinct 4 Commissioner Kenny Finster crew and Kenny Finster, were out surveying the areas. Of course Kenny has a very large area of responsibility but he took the time to also pay attention to the City of Seadrift. By Saturday evening and into the night both groups began clearing the main roads to allow any emergency/relief vehicles to be able to navigate their way to/from the City Hall and Fire Station area. Numerous City Emergency Vehicles as well as County Emergency Vehicles had been evacuated during the day Friday to protect them from winds and possibly high waters. I do not know who all drove the vehicles out of town and some even stayed with the vehicles. Trust me they were not near, most in Victoria near their Fire Stations and Emergency Centers. My thanks to those that ensured the City and Precinct 4 would have fire-fighting capability as soon after as possible.

The clean-up is still progressing and probably still be happening months later. Unfortunately this is not as fast as we would like because of the huge volume of trees, limbs and etc. Just the volume of trees and tree parts is mind-boggling. Here we are 12 days after landfall and we have only been able to pick-up and clear some of the vast amount of piles of trees and tree parts that have been scraped up from roadways and yards and this doesn’t count the other debris from structures and what the 8 to 10 foot storm surge washed up. Please be advised the City will do its best to perform the tree, limbs, brush removal when we can get around to them. When it comes to debris from construction, repairs, and etc. the normal rules apply in that the property owner will be required to provide disposal as usual. For example, a homeowner just bulldozed his structure and simply pushed all of it to the side of the street expecting the City to pick it up. Demolition is the responsibility of the owner. I hate to sound callous, but the City can only afford to do so much and the capability of handling that type of debris is very limited. If the debris has metal in it, the metal should be separated and set beside the road. Eventually I am sure some recyclers will be able to pick it up. If trash/debris will fit in totes and cans and not make them too heavy it should eventually be picked up by normal garbage pickup. Normal weekly waste services are now in operation on the normal days of Thursday & Friday.

I previously mentioned the fuel situation with the first “emergency” deliveries occurring Monday. However I would be remiss in saying that were it not for the fuel supplies that Precinct 4 Commissioner Finster released for the City on Sunday the generators at City Hall, Water Plant and Waste-water Plant would have run out. When the supplies the City ordered came in we were able to reciprocate to Precinct 4… This is cooperation at its best, indeed. There was no red tape here. If we needed something Precinct 4 provided it, if they needed something the City provided if we had it.

A note about the water and MRE’s. After the first water, ice and the reduced amount of MRE’s arrived and was taken within an hour and half, Kenny and myself realized it wasn’t just City residents coming in to get water, ice and MRE’s it was all those residents stretched between Seadrift and Port O’Connor and POC itself that needed things also. Yes when POC realized we had some water and ice and MRE’s they drove as best as they could to Seadrift. They weren’t refused. Our next order for fuel, water, ice and MRE’s took that into consideration. We did not want anyone to go thirsty or hungry. We got some push back from the State because they wanted to know how many we were helping just in the City. However with a little persuasion the District Emergency Operations in Victoria was convinced to submit the larger orders, but then we didn’t receive everything – this is where the “red-tape” issues reared their ugly heads. I digress a little here, but we received only a fraction of what was originally ordered during the Hurricane and afterwards through this past Wednesday and have never received any of the many other things that was requested.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Finster tried to attend the daily SITREP meetings at City Hall, but due to his vast duties in the rest of Precinct 4 was unable to attend all.

If you are wondering the city’s two wind turbines appeared to weather the hurricane well with no visible damage. However they will remain off until a thorough inspection can be performed to determine their condition before returning to service.

Finally I want to again thank all those involved in either staying, showing up and volunteering over the last 12 days. Special thanks go to Ernie Paiz our contact at DDC17 in Victoria – the local Disaster District in Victoria of the State TDEM who went out of his way and bypassed some normal channels to get the initial materials ordered and delivered. Thank you Kenny Finster Precinct 4 Commissioner! Thank you All the Fire Department Volunteers! Thank you City Crews and City Staff in keeping City Hall open long hours and through this past weekend. Thank you Police Chief Bermea and Officers and Reserve Officers for patrolling, checking on people and providing assistance. Thank you to all those volunteers and agencies that have come to Seadrift bringing untold numbers of everything, from water, food, clothing, baby things, personal hygiene items and thank you to those that have come later, though we may have turned you away and sent you elsewhere such as the Churches and other groups, individuals and organizations to help with the distributions. The Salvation Army has been here since around Monday and have been feeding continuously since then at 12:30pm and 5:30pm. At the peak during one meal approximately 750 people were served lunch on Sunday.

If I’ve missed other’s I am sincerely sorry… So much has been going on.. The days have and are running together with long hours and many, many faces and names hard to remember.

I know there is much more to tell – maybe a book sometime? Haha..

I would say “until next time” but I hope there is NOT a next time!

My heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all!

Elmer DeForest, Mayor, City of Seadrift

Leave a Reply

Untitled Document Visit Port O'Connor Chamber of Commerce