CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The pastor of Refugio’s First Baptist Church, T. Wayne Price, said he cried when he saw pictures of what was left of his church after Hurricane Harvey hit the area.
“I thought that I had shed all the tears that I could shed,” he said.
Price said he evacuated when he heard the storm was predicted to be a Category 4 hurricane. He wasn’t prepared for what he saw when he finally saw his church in person.
His church was a shambles, but he said his faith and the community helped him through it all.
“I could still cry -- and did,” he said. “When I came in the front doors, the balcony of the sanctuary almost collapsed. "
Refugio Mayor Wanda Dukes had just been elected to office in 2017 and had never experienced something quite like Harvey.
“We are still in, repairing and rebuilding things now 5 years later,” she said.
She said what Refugio experienced during Harvey will help the city plan for future emergencies.
"Thank God we made it through,” Dukes said. “Because of the experience we had we will be a little more organized this time."
It’s one of the few good things to come from the storm, said Refugio Co. Sheriff Raul 'Pinky' Gonzales.
"When something bad happens, like Hurricane Harvey, we need to look at the positive side of those disasters -- those tribulations," he said.
Along with watching his community come together to help those affected by the destructive storm.
"It took everybody -- not just county employees, not just sheriffs, county judges, and commissioners,” he said. “It took the whole community to come together as one team."