More than 100 people were evacuated from a severely damaged Fairfield Inn in Rockport, Texas, as Hurricane Harvey made landfall, The Weather Channel reported.
Some television crews covering the hurricane were staying in the hotel, and a team from Texas television station KXAN-TV captured extensive video of the scene. You can watch that video here:
According to the Austin television station, “KXAN’s Hurricane Expert David Yeomans is in Rockport where Hurricane Harvey is making landfall. Yeomans along with the rest of the KXAN team are staying in the Fairfield Inn, which sustained damage as the storm moved in.”
The television station reported that the mayor was driving around in an armored truck to assess damage and “entire rows of homes near the hotel” are demolished.
Yeomans says “half the hotel is damaged. The hotel originally had approximately 120 people there but after 9:30 p.m., when the eye was over them, around 80 percent of the people left because they didn’t feel safe at the hotel. Around two dozen people are staying behind, some of whom are weather spotters,” reported KXAN.
At least 10 people were injured in Rockport on August 25 as Hurricane Harvey, then a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds, thrashed the small coastal community of about 10,000 people, according to ABC News.
The network wrote, “At least 10 people being treated for injuries in Rockport, Texas; multiple buildings damaged, city manager tells @ABC.” The wounded were taken to the local jail for treatment, reports said. There were no reports of deaths. It was not yet clear where those people were injured or how serious their injuries were.
According to The Washington Post, “Multiple structures have been damaged or destroyed.” It was not yet clear which ones.
KSAT-TV reported that some people were trapped and, according to ABC News, rescue workers were sidelined by the strong winds for a time.
According to KSAT-TV, “at least two people are trapped in collapsed buildings in Rockport after Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday night, Rockport City Manager Kevin Carruth told the ABC affiliate in Corpus Christi.”
The television station added, “Carruth said the roof of a senior center collapsed injuring several inside the building. Rescuers were able to take the injured to a local jail that is being used as a medical center during the storm.”
According to ABC13, “Rockport City Manager Kevin Carruth said by telephone that he had heard reports of a tree falling into a mobile home and roofs collapsing on houses.” The television station reported that there was also severe damage at the courthouse.
The number of buildings damaged in Rockport was not immediately clear during the nighttime hours because of the dangerous nature of the scene.
Mark Collette, a reporter with the Houston Chronicle, wrote on Twitter on August 26: “Cargo trailer is halfway in Rockport courthouse bldg, 10 injuries brought in from various roof collapses in the city.”
There were reports that the Rockport High School had collapsed. Local news reporters confirmed with authorities that the high school had partially collapsed/sustained damage, although it was not completely destroyed or “gone” as some wrote on social media. The high school was not the location of a hurricane shelter in Rockport, according to Austin television reporter Justin Puckett.
Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported that “officials have received other reports of destroyed buildings only to discover them standing. Officials said they wouldn’t know the true extent of damage in Rockport until Saturday morning.” The newspaper added, “There are eyewitness accounts, however, of severe damage to other structures around the seaside town.”
CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reported that a senior living complex in Rockport had its roof collapse. Although many people have evacuated the area, there are people who chose to stay behind. There are elderly people living in this complex who are trapped. According to Begnaud, emergency crews are unable to enter the building. It’s also not yet clear whether those people were among the 10 reported injured. There were later reports those people were rescued.
“It’s everything that you’re probably seeing. We’re right in the middle and have been since 7 p.m. Intense winds, strong rain. It’s gotten worse over the last hour,” Rockport Mayor Patrick Rios told Fox News of the severity of the storm in Rockport, adding that Rockport is expected to see this magnitude of rain and wind for 24 hours.