Spring breakers stunned by post-Hurricane Harvey progress in Port Aransas

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter, Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

PORT ARANSAS - For coastal cities that depend on tourism, spring break is a crucial time. 

In Port Aransas, city officials and residents made it a goal to recover from Hurricane Harvey by spring break. Business owner Cindy Johnson was happy to see spring breakers visit the coastal town after the storm.

"It is a big deal because we don’t just live here, this is our livelihood," said Johnson, who owns C&G Sisters Island Boutique. "We’ve got it all in one basket."

Harvey destroyed at least one third of the merchandise in Johnson's shop, but after owning the shop for 28 years, Johnson looked to bounce back in time for spring break. She replaced the roof, a fence in the back and has even planted a new tree. 

The Tolmie family — visiting from Georgetown for spring break — couldn’t even tell the store had been damaged.

"Whenever I got down here, I thought most places were going to be torn to bits or something, but I got down here and most of them are doing really well," visitor Kolby Tolmie said. "I’m glad they’re up and running again so they can make money."

Johnson said support from people like Kolby keep her worries at bay. 

"It touches your heart," Johnson said. "I didn’t cry when I looked at my business, my home, or anything else, but then somebody offered me a taco and I bawled because that’s what it’s all about."

Johnson’s other source of income is her rental house, which was badly damaged during Harvey. She said the home is not ready to rent out yet.

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