It was six months ago this week that Hurricane Harvey slammed into Port Aransas with devastating rains and 120 mile an hour winds. But today, six months later, the coastal resort is prepared to open its doors to thousands of spring break families and students, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"70% of our restaurants and bars are now open for business," said Jeff Hentz, the head of the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. "That is a huge number, when you consider that we had sixty plus of those in Port A prior to August 25th."
He says Port Aransas also has some 3,000 lodging rooms available, through hotels, motels, and services like Air BnB. He says many of the huge seafront condo towers which routinely house thousands of families and visitors, are still undergoing renovations.
"One area that we are a little bit short on is our lodging," he says. "Our lodging inventory is still in a reduced mode, and will be for the next few months, until we get into the late spring and early summer."
Hentz says Port Aransas activities will be in full swing for spring break.
"There will still be scars, battle scars, from Harvey for another year or two," he said. "But it has been dramatically cleaned up."
He says residents and business owners have finally received their insurance payments, allowing renovation work to kick into high gear. He also says the 'New Day Port A' Fund has also received thousands of dollars from foundations and individuals who love Port Aransas and want to see it fully recover.
Hentz says the massive mountain of debris known as 'Mount Aransas' has been removed, but he says there will still be signs of recovery and some buildings still damaged, especially at the north end of the island near the Ferry terminal, which was the hardest hit by the hurricane.
IMAGE; PORT ARANSAS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. USED BY PERMISSION