Public Notice: After the Flood, Part II
Cleaning up is hard to do
Hurricane relief will continue to be a major issue in this part of the country for a long while. There are a lot of groups and businesses helping to fundraise, donating proceeds, and holding benefits. See a list at austinchronicle.com/flood for continuing updates on how to help. A lot of relief organizations have been overwhelmed with donations of more goods and supplies than they can distribute or store, but money or gift cards are always welcome everywhere, and if you have a favorite place on the coast, they could probably use volunteer labor as well.
For me, that favorite place on the coast would be Port Aransas. As I noted last week, Port A, Rockport, and that part of the Coastal Bend took the full brunt of Harvey's 130-mile-an-hour winds, but their devastation has gotten a bit overshadowed by the soggy catastrophe that is Houston. As we go to press, Port A is still under nighttime curfew and without power and water service (power is expected to be back on this Friday, Sept. 8). Pretty much every building was damaged, and many were completely flattened.
The city has set up a Hurricane Post-Disaster Notices and Information micro-site, and in an update posted Wednesday, it notes, "Port Aransas is in great need of cleaning supplies, shovels, garbage bags, rakes, etc. … Household items, clothing and food donations have been abundant and we are now diverting those resources to Seadrift and Austwell, Texas who are also in great need." They also need money, of course, and physical labor as well – especially if it comes with heavy equipment. Again, I'm sure the same holds true for a lot of communities down in that neck of the woods. So if you have a favorite place on the coast, and a backhoe – road trip! (If you don't, you should get one or the other.) The Port A ferry, BTW, reopened to the public on Tuesday.
And just a reminder that Harvey has put a stress on animal shelters as well. And even as most of the human evacuees are starting to resettle back home, it appears that a lot of their four-legged former companions will be staying on a while longer. The Austin Humane Society, for one, has served over 500 animals impacted by Harvey in the past week, and still needs donations, volunteers, and short-term foster homes, as they try to reunite those animals with their families in the days and weeks ahead. They celebrated their first successful reunion this week when a microchipped dog named Lion was matched with a family evacuated by kayak from the second floor of their Houston-area home (photos online). So, like, 499 to go. A Wednesday press release pleads: "We are starting to run short on storage space due to the increased number of animals and physical donations so we are hoping to spread the word that monetary donations as well as gift card donations are our biggest need. AHS is in the process of working to transfer some of our donated items to a warehouse." AHS is currently open for cat adoptions only, 1-5pm daily.
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is holding informational open houses this month on their six-county regional walking and biking plan (Regional Active Transportation Plan, or RATPlan). It's a come-and-go format; no formal presentation. The Travis County meetings are this week:
• Thu., Sept. 7, 4-7pm at Hampton Library, 5125 Convict Hill Rd.
• Tue., Sept. 12, 2-7pm at Huston-Tillotson Univ., 900 Chicon (free parking on Chalmers Ave.)
• Fri., Sept. 15, 10am-2pm at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Over the Lege is back! See details in "Civics 101" for this wildly popular satire, running through September.
The Shoal Creek Conservancy is working with the city and the public to create a plan to improve, connect, and extend the Shoal Creek Trail from Downtown all the way north to the Domain. Hear all about it at the second Shoal Creek Trail: Vision to Action Plan Community Workshop, Wed., Sept. 13, from 6-8pm at Congregation Beth Israel, 3901 Shoal Creek Blvd.