The Salvation Army and volunteers out of Waco have provided help to residents of Port Lavaca who were victims of Hurricane Harvey.
The wind and water decimated apartments, houses, trailers and businesses there. Two weeks after Harvey made landfall, utilities have been restored to the area and residents are returning to survey the damage and begin cleanup. They’re finding broken windows, damaged roofs, water-logged walls and carpet, and dangerous mold.
The Salvation Army has been there serving the area since the hurricane, providing meals, cleanup kits and emotional comfort to aid in the efforts.
Johnny Ocanas, 63, rode out the storm inside the largest of his four trailer homes.
Ocanas said at one point the wind picked up his trailer nearly two feet in the air and dropped him straight down.
“I was up and then ‘boom,’ I was down,” he said. “And the roof bent inward. The pipe for the water broke in half.”
All four trailers are so damaged that he has been sleeping in his truck.
He said the few bright spots in his life now include the Salvation Army’s volunteers serving hot meals and snacks twice a day .
Volunteer Janet Harrison, of Waco, is serving on the canteen in Port Lavaca. She said Ocanas had been by every day, but on one day he finally gave her a hug.
“He’s a nice man. We’ve talked before, but this is the first time he’s actually put his arm around me,” she said. “I think he’s really starting to trust us and think of us as friends.”