In the seven months following Harvey, thousands of volunteers in Port Aransas have come and gone. But the Port A Chamber of Commerce says they still need helping hands.
Jeffrey Hentz, the President and CEO of the Port A Chamber says the town has come a long way since the hurricane, but the town still has a long road ahead.
"It will take years for us to get fully recovered, and the man hours that we need to repair homes, roofs, businesses, is enormous," Hentz said.
So far, the Chamber has logged 40,000 volunteer hours between 6,500 people. However, the Chamber anticipates the town will need a total of 100,000 volunteer hours to get most of Port Aransas back on its feet.
"What we’ve done with our volunteer program has made a dent in those type of hours that we need to get our community back," Hentz said. "We’re getting closer, but we’re still a ways away."
Despite still having a long way to go, the Chamber says about 50% of the overall businesses in town are up and running. That includes 40% of lodging open, and 50-60% of restaurants and retail.
By Memorial Day weekend, the town expects that overall number to rise closer to 60%.
"It allows us to get even more energized to get us fully reopen by the end of summer or early fall," Hentz said.
For more information on how to volunteer or donate, click here. Those interested in volunteering can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 361-749-5919, ext. 806.