Mission Church Group, Volunteers Keep Harvey Evacuees Fed
MISSION – A Coastal Bend evacuee is thankful to be staying in the Rio Grande Valley while his hometown recovers from Harvey.
The Seadrift resident is staying in a Mission hotel on a FEMA voucher.
George Ureste along with his three children, their spouses and three grandchildren left Seadrift on Wednesday. Local police told him he had to leave.
He said a family member told him the city of Mission was housing those displaced by the storm.
"They told us it was mandatory for us to get out. The storm was coming and I didn't want to leave my children, you know, put them in harm's way," he said.
Food donations from a local church made it possible for Ureste and his family to enjoy a hot meal. Ureste said he feels safe in Mission. He is comforted knowing other family members are accounted for.
"We've been in contact with all of them and they're all scattered out through Texas. But they're safe," he told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.
Ureste said his neighbor, who stayed behind in Seadrift, gave him a report about the status of his yard.
"The trees were all, I had some big trees, they're all torn out. They're all just – there's no trees in the yard," he said.
Mission Deputy City Manager Aida Lerma is grateful the church and volunteers are working to help people such as Ureste. She said the volunteers and church group prepared meals for 200 evacuees housed in Mission.
Lerma said a determination will be made on how many meals to prepare as the days go on and more people return home.
"For the rest of the week, we'll be kind of counting those numbers and checking in with the families in the local hotels to see how many we'll be serving," she explained.
She added many evacuees are returning home to assess the property damage in their towns.