George Strait meets with Hurricane Harvey victims in Rockport
ROCKPORT, TX – The Gulf Coast, still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, gets a badly-needed lift of the spirits from the King of Country, George Strait, who calls the town his second home.
Hundreds of fans stood in the local ACE Hardware parking lot waiting for a glimpse of the music star.
“Just gives us something to look forward to,” resident Marsha Reid says. “Put a smile on our face - because we need it.”
Strait is putting a spotlight on Rockport, a town hit directly by the storm but overshadowed in its wake.
“My wife and I have had a house here for a long, long time,” he told the crowd. “We still need help here and we can’t be forgotten. We like it just the way it was and we want to get it back there. I want to go fishing.”
He was joined on stage by Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
It’s been almost a month since Harvey made landfall. Most people in Rockport now have working electricity and water.
But piles of debris are outside just about every home, serving as a visual reminder of how long the recovery process will take.
“Some of the neighbor’s fence in there,” homeowner Bill Hunt says while picking up debris in his yard not far from where Strait is on stage.
He’s all grit and determination, putting his piece of paradise back together.
“Total devastation,” Hunt describes the damage in Rockport. “It’s unbelievable, the strength of Mother Nature. “We got the wind. Houston got the water.”
The storm spared few buildings. Mom-and-pop stores are reduced to rubble, and even big hotels are still closed.
“I think we’ve got the whole population here, about,” Strait quipped while meeting residents impacted by Harvey.
That’s why an autograph, or a picture, or a t-shirt for charity mean so much in a town where King George represents Texas strong.
“I’m selling them at my school,” Carly Teichman says as she hands Strait a shirt.
The proceeds will go toward rebuilding Rockport.
“It’s the best day ever. He just took my shirt. I’m going to cry,” Teichman says, her body shaking and eyes full of excitement. “It’s the best day ever.”
By EMILY BAUCUM
George Strait in Rockport to meet with Hurricane Harvey victims (Courtesy of KRIS TV)
Strait organized a massive benefit concert last week that raised tens of millions of dollars for hurricane victims.