THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • January/February 2018 35 34 THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • January/February 2018 B y the time the sun set on the Coastal Bend on Friday, August 25, 2017, advisories on Hurricane Harvey predicted that the it would make landfall on the Texas coast between Corpus Christi and Port O’Connor, but while the storm had strengthened to a Cat 4, the greatest danger predicted by those in the news media was the path it was expected to take once inland. The rainfall was considered the biggest threat as Harvey made landfall, and after it was all said and done, historic rainfall in southeast Texas is what ran up the tab and resulted in Harvey’s place as the financially costliest single, natural disaster in American history. After losing strength on Saturday night, the storm lingered over the Victoria area until Monday afternoon, when it drifted eastward back into the gulf, the center having moved offshore by 4:00 p.m. Monday. By 4:00 a.m. Tuesday, Harvey was almost one hundred miles back into the warm waters of the gulf, while the northeast side of the storm was drenching southeast Texas at a record rate. In Pearland, directly south of downtown Houston, just under ten inches of rain fell in ninety minutes, and in the town of Cedar Bayou, just east of Baytown, the North American record of 51.88 inches fell over a period of three days. As devastating as the historic rains were, it was on Tuesday afternoon, August 29th, that God saved Galveston, Texas, and/or Houston, and maybe even New Orleans, from what Harvey had delivered to Port Aransas, Aransas Pass and Rockport. Given the right conditions, the storm could very well have regained its strength offshore, and maybe even once again spun into a tight ball of 130-mile-per-hour fury as it made its second landfall on the gulf coast. Prudent public officials like Port Aransas Mayor Charles Bujan issued a mandatory evacuation order Thursday afternoon, recognizing the vulnerability of the island town’s The former location of The Pelican Club on the Port A Marina collapsed and fell apart in the storm. (above) Badly damaged businesses at historic building on Tarpon Street.