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Gov. Abbott Celebrates Hurricane Recovery in Fulton

Gov. Greg Abbott (center) signs House Bill 6 and Senate Bill 6 as the co-authors of the bills look on along with Fulton Mayor Jimmy Kendrick (second from left). Also with the governor are (left) Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, Rep. Geanie Morrison, and Rep. Todd Hunter. Courtesy photo

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed two disaster relief bills into law in Rockport on August 24, the day before the second anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. The Category 4 storm hit the Coastal Bend on the evening of August 25, 2017, devastating Port Aransas and the Rockport-Fulton area.

Abbott signed Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 6 at the ribbon cutting of the Fulton Convention Center before attending the groundbreaking for the new Fulton Fishing Pier. Both were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.

The House and Senate bills were approved by the 86th Legislature this year and are designed to improve emergency management, response, and recovery during and after disasters. The bills also aid communities in receiving needed rebuilding funds.

“I was stunned and shocked and hurt when I saw the magnitude of the damage left by Hurricane Harvey,” Abbott said. “It was ferocious, but you all showed what Texans are all about. There’s no storm that is more powerful than the resiliency that lies within the hearts of our fellow Texans. I am proud of the people of Fulton and Rockport and the way that you have rebuilt your community.”

With the convention center complete and pier construction set to begin September 1, Fulton is poised to mark full recovery from the storm.

“Two years ago to the day, we are recovered — is this not resilient?” Fulton Mayor Jimmy Kendrick said. “This is a success story. Fulton is our home, and it is here to stay.”

FEMA money as well as a private donation are being managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation to rebuild the $1.9 million pier. Cooler company Yeti donated $184,000 toward the rebuild. In place of shovels, officials held fishing rods for the groundbreaking. The Sid W. Richardson Foundation is also providing some of the money.

Also attending the ceremonies were U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud, State Rep. Todd Hunter, and Nim Kidd, the chief of Texas Emergency Management, along with other local elected officials and about 100 residents.

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