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Refugio Fire station still in rebuilding process 

Posted at 7:53 AM, May 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-14 11:07:16-04

More than a year and a half after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast, some locations, like Refugio, are still struggling to get back to normal.

Like many properties in the city, their fire station also sustained a good amount of damage.

It has been close to two years and the rebuilding process has not even started.

Hurricane Harvey didn’t seem to leave any building untouched in Refugio and that includes its fire station. Harvey did a number on the city and the fire department’s station.

“ It has been a real tough two years for this department and this entire town. This town got kicked in the teeth. Rockport got it worse, but we took 6 hours of 130 mile per hour winds in this community. There is a lot of rebuilding that is happening everywhere, including us,” said Refugio Fire Chief Ronnie Williams.

The Refugio City Fire Department still had tarps on the roof after a year, suffering 1.5 million dollars worth of damage during the storm. The roof damage has caused leaking within the fire station.

“It has been very frustrating over the last two years. We have been in a building that the roof got demolished during the actual storm, like I said, two years ago. The station leaks every time it rains; it is a mess inside,” said Williams.

The city has been waiting on FEMA to help pay to get the fire station back in working order. It has been almost two years, and no one has seen a dime.

“Our city has worked diligently.  The Mayor and the staff at City Hall have worked tirelessly dealing with FEMA, dealing with insurance, dealing with everybody in this disaster relief to try to make this happen. It is actually starting to come together, and we are going to see some progress very soon,” said Williams.

 Even though they are still waiting for their new fire station, they do finally have a new 68-by-45 foot temporary home.

“Things are starting to pick up and starting to look good. This week, we are going to be cleaning some trucks and getting them out of that fire station and start moving some stuff into our new temporary building that was provided by Rebuild Texas Foundation,” said Williams.

Fire Chief Ronnie Williams says it will cost millions of dollars to rebuild the station that is home to 20 volunteers.  He believes they are still a year away from rebuilding the new station.

Williams also added that with the help of the Texas A&M Forestry Service grants, they were able to purchase new hoses, structural fire fighting gear, and woodland fire fighter gear for their volunteer fire fighters.

With the help of GOCO wireless out of Goliad, the Refugio fire department also received a new radio tower.