By NATALIE MILLER
In the wake of destruction in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey late August, several businesses and individuals in Hanover joined together to show support for those affected by the massive damages.
Horse trainer and ranch-hand Patrick McKann started an initiative to collect supplies at local feed stores to be driven down to Beaumont and Houston, Texas. Doswell’s Champion Saddlery served as the final collection site for the donated supplies to be brought before the trip down to Texas.
Equine sports massage therapist Erin Scarborough reached out to McKann to offer help after seeing his Facebook post explaining the effort.
Scarborough said in a phone interview Tuesday that they were still in Texas delivering supplies to affected areas along the coast. McKann and Scarborough left Virginia Aug. 31 pulling a trailer loaded with supplies for a day and a half drive down to Texas.
“Some of these people lost their everything, and some people are out in the boondocks and can’t get to anything,” Scarborough said. “Being able to hand deliver stuff has been really awesome.”
McKann and Scarborough have delivered supplies to places near the eastern coast of Texas, including Beaumont, Houston and Galveston, working alongside the US Army and local organizations. Scarborough said that some of the army’s helicopters have been used to transport hay to high points of land that some cattle have found for refuge.
Ford Park in Beaumont, Texas has been designated as a State Resource Distribution Center, and rescued animals are being cared for in the barns behind the arena.
In residential areas, several homes and buildings are under water or damaged by the storm. Scarborough said they road on a boat in a residential area above cars and houses, but that not all areas were impacted to this extent.
“You’ll drive and you’ll see extreme flooding and the next road you’ll see sometime cutting grass,” Scarborough said.
What was first characterized as a tropical depression, Harvey grew into a category 4 hurricane as it moved from the Gulf of Mexico near the Texas Gulf Coast on the evening of Aug. 25. Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, about 30 miles north of Corpus Christi.
The hurricane remained in south Texas Aug. 26 and moved east into the Gulf of Mexico, finally meeting land Aug. 30 near Cameron, Louisiana.
The devastating flooding experienced in Houston and parts of south east Texas were caused by Harvey’s slow movement from Aug. 26-30. Harvey’s eyewall sustained maximum winds of 130 mph at landfall, making it a Category 4 hurricane late Aug. 25.
The flooding devastated several communities, destroying homes and businesses and displacing people and animals. Weather.com reports the top wind gusts in Rockport at 108 mph, 125 mph near Copano Village, and 110 mph near Lamar, Texas.
McKann, a past customer of the Ashland Feed Store, asked owner Danny Adams if his store would be a collection center. Aug. 29 and 30 the Feed Store took donations for the effort, which started with food and supplies for animals.
Adams said people donated more than just animal supplies, bringing diapers and water bottles to the designated collection centers. People donated money, or just asked for their money to directly purchase whatever supplies were needed.
“People have to really trust each other that they’re going to do what they say they’re going to, too,” Adams said. “At the end of the day, it was difficult but it was really cool to see.”
There was a horse trailer full of halters and ropes, pet carriers and cages at Champion when Adams arrived with his donations, along with clothes, diapers, and bottles of water.
Some of the Feed Store’s employees even chipped in and bought some supplies to be taken to Champion Saddlery.
“It just makes you feel good about the world,” Adams said. “I was kind of pumped up after that.”
At least one more load of supplies is expected to be sent down from Champion Saddlery in a semi-truck donated by Cox Transportation.
Scarborough said the generous donations from back home were making a big impact on the people and animals in need in Texas.
“It wouldn’t be possible without the people of Virginia,” Scarborough said.