Port Royal, a resort in Port Aransas, was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.
But now, the resort is turning a new page, and beginning a new chapter — literally.
Port Royal’s general manager, Kendra Kinnison, began writing a book in July. The book shares the resort’s struggles in the year following the hurricane.
“It’s hard to make sense of this long of a journey,” Kinnison said.
The newly-published novel is called ‘Royal Resilience, our story of surviving and thriving after Hurricane Harvey.’ The book is one of the one of the town’s first published books since the storm made landfall.
“You can think of it as a documentary,” Kinnison said. “It’s written in layers.”
Each of the book’s 10 chapters features different experiences before and after the hurricane. The book begins with the days leading up to the storm.
“There are actual emails from our decision to close and the days right after,” Kinnison said.
The book shares what happened in the weeks and months following the hurricane. It details what it was like living and working in the area immediately after the storm. Then it tells the story of how Port Royal staff put in 17,000 hours of volunteer work, as they were helping the community and local organizations during their recovery.
Staff members helped clear debris from Port Aransas, helped rebuild homes and helped prepare meals for hurricane victims and the homeless.
Photos are also included in the book as a reminder of the journey Port Royal has been on.
“We didn’t have a road map for how to recover,” said Patricia Bell, the Port Royal director of human resources. “We just showed up every day and we gave 100 percent.”
The book also serves as a reminder that Port Royal and the Port Aransas community still have a long road of recovery ahead.
“We really tried to make the best of the experience,” Kinnison said. “Truly tried to make lemonade from the lemons.”
The book is available on Amazon. The kindle version costs just under $10. The paperback version costs just under $20.
All of the proceeds go toward the Port Royal Strong Foundation. The foundation helps Port Royal staff who are still struggling after Hurricane Harvey.