Port Aransas continues to rebuild 18 months after Hurricane Harvey, but many businesses feel ready for Spring Break.
The category 4 hurricane made landfall in August of 2017, causing extensive damage along the Texas coast.
Most businesses have since reopened, with noticeable upgrades.
“Harvey had a silver lining,” said Beth Owens, a business owner. “Our silver lining is, we got to remodel."
Owens owns eight businesses in Port A. According to the business owner, all of them were heavily damaged by Harvey, along with her home.
"It was like a death,” said Owens. “It was very emotionally hard to just have your life turned upside down overnight."
We flew our World Car Drone over Port Aransas on Wednesday. The flight revealed just how far the town has come after 18 months of cleaning and rebuilding. Most of the debris is gone, while a lot of buildings have new roofs.
Although many businesses have remodeled and reopened, some hotels still sit abandoned.
According to a representative from the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce, roughly 20 percent of lodging units in Port A remain closed.
As a result, the town’s 2018 lodging occupancy tax revenue was down 34% compared to 2017.
"Once we get our lodging back, I can see our numbers being right where we were before the hurricane,” said Owens.
While some condos still sit abandoned, construction is underway on new residential areas in other parts of Port A.
We toured Cinnamon Shore, a luxury beach home community south of town.
“These buildings were all standing when Harvey came,” said Jodi Peters from Cinnamon Shore Realty.
Cinnamon Shore is in the process of opening more rental homes this year. According to a representative from the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce, between 100 and 200 new lodging units are expected to open in the area during 2019.
A town still recovering from a paralyzing storm, but looking ahead to Spring Break, and the future.
“It's been such a blessing that the tourists, people from San Antonio, come down and support our island,” said Owens.