Surveying the Damage: Evacuees return to Aransas Pass

As conditions clear in the Corpus Christi area, many people who evacuated ahead of the storms are coming back to survey the damage.

ARANSAS PASS (KIII NEWS) - As conditions clear in the Corpus Christi area, many people who evacuated ahead of the storms are coming back to survey the damage.

As WBIR Reporter Michael Crowe shows us, they don't always like what they find.

The town of Aransas Pass caught some of the worst of Hurricane Harvey's fury, and now that the storm is passed, people are returning home, often finding structures wiped off the map.

Hurricane Harvey's wind may now be in the past, but the damage it left behind is still very present.

"Wiped it away."

Darrell Smithey's home in Aransas Pass was no match for the storm. He evacuated to Pleasanton and came home to a disaster.

"That was my bedroom there," Smithey said. "Whether I like it or not, I got some skylights that were free."

Now, working with his son and nephew, the cleanup begins; but every piece of debris they remove uncovers new emotions.

"Just, a lot of feelings. Lot of memories," Smithey said. "Pretty rough to talk about it."

Smithey thinks back to raising his son Chad in the house, and the small victory of finding the fire truck he played with all those years ago.

"Oh yeah, it means a lot yeah," Smithey said. "They drug it out of a closet that was demolished."

But there is also so much loss. He's been working to teach a young nephew to sing here as well.

"He was crying when he called me. So," Smithey said. "Pretty tough to hear from him. We was gonna have to find another place to sing."

But that's what brought the family together. As they finish tearing the house apart, they build each other up.

"Give him hugs when he needs it, and a kick in the butt when he needs that too," Chad said. "Whatever it's gonna take."

Because just being here to clean up means there will be life after Harvey.

"I been through one storm, lost it all before, so lose it again, you just start over," Smithey said.

Smithey said he has already filed a claim with FEMA. Now he's waiting for that help to arrive.

© 2017 KIII-TV


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