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5 years later: Work continues to repair local churches heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey

Even though it’s been 5 years, parishes and buildings within the Diocese of Corpus Christi continue to undergo work.

Next week will mark the five year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey.

Many of our local coastal bend communities were left with heavy damage in the wake of the storm including almost 50 parishes within the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Today, work continues to repair those local church facilities.

In a town hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, the scars from the storm can still be seen in the roofs that are still in need of repair.

"Awful to see house after house, tree after tree destroyed, debris all over the place," said Father Patrick Higgins who remembers the day well.

"This is a look inside the church with a look at the debris that came down from the roof, the door of the perish hall that blew off, the air conditioning section of the unit that fell down."

Father Higgins had only been at Our Lady of the Assumption in Ingleside six weeks when Harvey struck.

"Coming into the church, the carpet was wet from the storm, and debris was all over the place," said Higgins.

The church's thick concrete walls stood up against the hurricane's destructive winds and so did a 400 year old stain glass window but there would still be so much that needed repairs.

"We secured the roof so it wouldn't leak, so parishioners wouldn't have to bring their umbrellas when they are sitting in the pews, so we got that fixed," said Father Higgins.

Despite being almost five years later a few leaky windows remain but work on the church is finally nearing completion including these new pews donated by parishioners.

"A little plaque on those pews shows it's their church, a church they built," said Higgins.

Recovery funds stemming from years of efforts and struggles through FEMA and insurance, but also through the generosity of parishioners like Irma Gonzales.

"Very much damage, bad, we couldn't even have mass there, had to have it in the hall," said Gonzales.

"It was months but we got there."

"With inflation cost of materials everything goes up when you have a building, church hall and classrooms there is a lot of expense involved with fixing things up," said Father Higgins.

"It took a long time years, even to this day, there are still people who still have damage to their homes, their faith helped get them through."

Father Higgins said with a little bit of patience they go through it.

Work continues at parishes throughout the 12 area counties that make up the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Just two weeks ago, Bishop Michael Mulvey signing new contracts to begin work at churches in Refugio, Port Aransas, Woodsboro, Odem, and in Corpus Christi.

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