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Assessing damage where Hurricane Harvey touched ground

August 26, 2017 at 6:31 PM EDT
Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near the city of Corpus Christi in southeastern Texas on Friday, cutting power to at least two-thirds of its 325,000 residents and damaging buildings in its path. Natalia Contreras, reporter for the Corpus Christi Caller Times, joins Hari Sreenivasan via Skype to describe the scene.

HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: When Hurricane Harvey made landfall, the eye of the storm descended on Corpus Christi. It’s a city of 325,000 people in southeastern Texas, right on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Natalia Contreras, a reporter for the “Corpus Christi Caller-Times,” joins me now by Skype.

You’ve had a chance to go out there and see it. How bad was it?

NATALIA CONTRERAS, REPORTER, CORPUS CHRISTIE CALLER-TIMES: Corpus Christi was pretty bad. What was surprising this morning is how much the streets are not too flooded. In Corpus Christi, a lot of debris over here in Corpus Christi, in Corpus Christi bay, downtown, it’s still pretty windy. People are driving around. About a hundred thousand people are still without power in Corpus Christi.

SREENIVASAN: Did a lot of people from Corpus Christi evacuate? Did they move to higher ground in advance of the storm?

CONTRERAS: A lot of people did. We looked at social media. A lot of people prepared.
They boarded up their homes, but then also at the same time, a lot of people did board up their homes here and stayed here and just rided out the storm. Last night, we were monitoring our social media channels and we were getting reports of people that were, you know, tweeting and posting on Facebook that they were at home, that they were safe, that they their pets, and their power didn’t start going out in the area until about 11:00 or so when the storm got stronger.

SREENIVASAN: So, right now, besides the power outages, which are significant, are the hospitals on-line or any of the first kind of responders or emergency services, they’re all functioning well?

CONTRERAS: Police are responding. I believe we reported also that there were babies that were born during the hurricane at the hospital. So, right now, from Rockford, from that area of town, or Aransas Pass of Port Aransas, we got word that Coast Guard was going to try to fly in some people from those areas into the hospitals here. So, yes, hospitals are trying to help out people here.

SREENIVASAN: All right. Natalia Contreras, a reporter for the “Corpus Christi Caller-Times”, thanks so much.

CONTRERAS: Thank you so much.