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Photographer’s Perspective: Braving the Elements

3 years 2 months 2 weeks ago Monday, September 18 2017 Sep 18, 2017 September 18, 2017 12:33 PM September 18, 2017 in News

CORPUS CHRISTI – A CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew journeyed along the Coastal Bend area and showed us the destruction left behind by Hurricane Harvey.

Photojournalist Sergio Puente along with KRGV reporter Matt Rist braved the elements across the Texas Gulf to bring some of the heartbreaking images back home.  

Puente said a number of people initially stayed behind to observe the storm as gusts of wind pushed water along the sea wall in Corpus Christi.  

“First hurricane here in Texas… We’re from Florida, we’re used to it, but we just wanted to see how big it was going to be,” said Valentina Vivas Fernandez.

Others were just curious.

“I’m just out here checking out the weather, seeing how the waves are doing. Just came to enjoy this nice weather before it gets worse,” said Corpus Christi resident Sandra Aguilar.

Puente recalls the most memorable experience happened during a LIVE shot in Corpus Christi. He said the sound of a large sheet of metal gliding across the street terrified him.

His immediate reaction: share it with friends on social media after finding safety.

“It was probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever done working in news,” he said.

In days following the hurricane, reality set in for communities like Refugio.

“You don’t have a place to go, what are you supposed to do? Tell me, tell me… I don’t have nothing,” said Refugio resident Jane Moya.

In Woodsboro, residents like Frank Linney explained his experience.

“It was bad. It was rocking and rolling all night long,” he said. “We’re a good little community. We’ll clean it up. It’ll get done, but it’s just going to take a long time.”

Closer to the Coast, Puente said it looked like the scene of a movie and there was no happy ending.

“I knew it was going to be bad, but just seeing it… You know the pictures – live is worse than I thought,” said hurricane victim Tresie Merril.

As a photographer, Puente said it only took one look around to realize it was the start of a long road to recovery. 

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