'No catastrophic damages reported' | Port Arthur begins to survey, clean up wind damage after Hurricane Laura

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“It appears the city fared well, as there has been no loss of life and no catastrophic damages reported,” reads a Facebook post by the Port Arthur Police Department.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Port Arthur city employees are working overtime to survey the wind damage done by Hurricane Laura. The latest update on the situation in Port Arthur comes from a Facebook post uploaded by the police department around noon Thursday.

“The Port Arthur Emergency Management Team is steadily working with city officials and other local law enforcement to restore city services in our attempt to return citizens as soon as safely possible.

“At this time, it appears the city fared well as there has been no loss of life and no catastrophic damages reported. There is still a significant number of residences and businesses without power. Due to this, many businesses are not open. There is also a very limited supply of gasoline.

“We will let the public know as soon as we have more information on the return of our residents.”

The mayor of Port Arthur, Thurman Bartie, called for a mandatory evacuation, telling residents if they stay, “know that it’s just going to be you and God.” His ominous message went viral.

The evacuation order for Port Arthur was lifted Thursday morning. As people slowly make it back to their homes, there’s a reality check.

A number of neighborhood streets are blanketed in leaves and tree limbs. Electricity is out in parts of the city. 

An HEB grocery store, some gas stations and a few business are open, but when KHOU 11 reporter Melissa Correa checked Thursday afternoon, some businesses were running on cash only because their card machines were done.

The Rose Hill Manor, one of Port Arthur’s oldest landmarks, had a brush with an old oak tree. It toppled over onto the porch of the 114-year-old home that sits along Sabine Lake at the Texas/Louisiana border. In fact, a lot of homes had close calls with trees. Some power lines were pulled down as tress toppled over. Texas Governor Greg Abbott reports Port Arthur saw 38 mph sustained winds, with gusts topping 51 miles per hour.

Trampolines were wrapped around wooden poles. At an intersection without working traffic lights, two vehicles collided. We’re hoping everyone involved in the wreck is OK.

Port Arthur may be down, but the city is definitely not out.