U.S. Coast Guard Station Port Aransas looks okay now, but in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey the station was a mess.
The boat house was destroyed, and the station’s other three buildings didn’t fare much better.
“The lower buildings, three and a half feet of water were in them and it’s an old brick building,” said MCPO Edward Iversen, the station’s Officer in Charge. “We had a lot of wind damage and water intrusion into the other two buildings.”
Only one of the station’s three remaining buildings is actually in use, making conditions even more cramped at a station already short on space.
“When the station was built back in the 70’s, it was made for a 20 person unit,” said Iversen. “We currently have 45 people working out of this facility.”
But big changes are coming, the station is in the planning stages of a complete overhaul. Paid for with $26.5 million of federal relief money, the existing buildings will all be torn down and replaced with a new boat house and a state of the art facility.
“The buildings will be up to today’s standards, today’s communications,” said Iversen. “Everyone would be housed in the same building; we’ll have berthing rooms for young junior members to be able to live on board. That just increases our capabilities here.”
According to Iversen, these facility upgrades will help the station’s crew perform its mission.
“The main mission here is search and rescue,” said Iversen. “We also do the port waterways and coastal security, mainly for the Corpus Christi Harbor, the container vessels going in and out of the harbor.”
The rebuild is in the planning stages, and there’s no timetable to start construction; though Iversen believes the project will run three to five years.