Brother tells survival story, sister's Rockport dream home severely damaged by Harvey

‘They thought I had died, they thought I had stayed in that trailer'

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist

ROCKPORT, Texas - Just 20 minutes after leaving his RV trailer, Eddy Ramirez could have lost his life when Hurricane Harvey lifted his trailer several feet up in the air from where it stood for years.

Now looking at his severely damaged trailer that sits on its side, Ramirez said forgetting the night Harvey made landfall in Rockport is almost impossible.

“Everything was shaken. Everything was breaking. And I was in there (trailer) when it started breaking apart,” Ramirez said.

“The phone was still working so I called my sister in Houston and the last words I remember saying, ‘I’m losing it.’”

“We were so worried about him (and) we got a message from him at about 11:15 p.m. during the storm and he says, ‘I’m OK, total loss’ and that was the last we heard from him,” Mary Helen, Ramirez’s sister, said.

Days before Harvey’s arrival, Helen who lives next door to her brother left with the other thousands of residents when local officials issued mandatory evacuations for the surrounding areas.

However, for Ramirez, he chose to ride out the hurricane to protect and look after his three goats and other pets to survive the storm.

It’s a decision that Ramirez now says was the wrong choice and you couldn’t pay him all the money in the world to ride it out again.

“They thought I had died, they thought I had stayed in that trailer but I’ll tell you what, I’ll never do that again. You need to move them (animals) out somewhere, cause it’s too dangerous … I almost lost my life,” Ramirez said.

In fear of losing his life, Ramirez said he ran next door to his sister’s home where he found water and sewage beginning to collect inside, damaging Helen’s dream home for the worse.

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“It’s already been over a month (since Harvey) and I come in here and I cry and the storm hit, so now I’m going to have to start over,” Helen said, holding back tears.

“My savings is gone and I had money to make my little house but it’s all gone now,” Helen said. “I believe in God and I believe that somehow I’ll rebuild … somehow.”

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