Gulf Coast Residents Take Stock After Rita

A damaged car in Port Arthur, Texas i i

A damaged car in Port Arthur, Texas Paul Heltzel, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Heltzel, NPR
A damaged car in Port Arthur, Texas

A damaged car in Port Arthur, Texas

Paul Heltzel, NPR
Santos Funes works outside his shop, which was largely spared by the storm.

Santos Funes works outside his shop, which was largely spared by the storm. Paul Heltzel, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Heltzel, NPR
Edward Rogers surveys his apartment, where nearly everything was wrecked by the storm.

Edward Rogers surveys his apartment, where nearly everything was wrecked by the storm. Paul Heltzel, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Heltzel, NPR

Emergency officials along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana are assessing damage after Hurricane Rita, as some officials are expressing relief. Residents are not allowed back in their homes in any of the worst-affected areas, but damage to life and property was far less than most feared before the storm.

Among the luckier residents of Port Arthur, Texas, is Santos Funes. He says when he got to town Sunday morning, he thought his auto body shop would be gone — but he found it still standing and in need of only minor repairs.

But just a few blocks away, Edward Rogers has not been so lucky. Everything he owns was destroyed in the storm. Rogers says he has no savings, no money at all. He saved a few dry clothes and a pair of wet shoes he's drying out.

Police and emergency crews haven't reached much of Port Arthur yet. The area is beset by isolated flooding, along with downed trees and power lines. But Carl Adrianapoli, a FEMA official now in Port Arthur, wouldn't put the storm above a four on a 10-point scale. Other areas, such as Lake Charles, La., saw worse damage.

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