Hurricane Harvey and the RV Fulltimers on the Gulf Coast

Hurricane Harvey makes landfall near Rockport, TX.

Hurricane Harvey makes landfall near Rockport, TX.

 

I do not know how many people live full-time in RV parks across the Texas Gulf Coast.  I’m not sure if anyone has even tried to take a proper census of this population and it may be impossible to find out.  But there are thousands of people living along the Texas Gulf Coast whose definition of a neighborhood is essentially nothing more than a nice parking lot with hookups. Today I’m wondering where some of these people might be right now as Hurricane Harvey spins mayhem across the region.

I would like to think that they all found somewhere safer to be than between the fiberglass paneling of an old RV or camper.  I would like to think that many of those who left where able to do so with their homes in tow and were not forced to abandon their only belonging.  But I know many, if not most, had little choice but to hang in there through the night.  For the more privileged, like us who can move at will from point to point, evacuation at times like this is always the logical action to take.  Yet, there is a difference between ability and willingness.

Many of the long-term residents in RV parks are retired persons, many of them veterans, many are elderly widows whose savings have just about run out.  We have met people of few resources, divorced women trying to start new lives and divorced men trying to recover the lives they lost.  We have met young families living on the road just so their kid can participate in every possible rodeo competition or bmx rally they can.  In general we have had the honor to meet real honest Americans just trying to survive in almost every single RV park in Texas.

But most of all I am wondering today about all of those full-timers whose face you rarely see outside of their rvs or campers.  Those residents who often have semi-permanent wooden wheelchair ramps along the side of their battered campers.  People’s whose disabilities have left them wheelchair-bound, made them unable to walk and often whose lives have made them unwilling to ask for help. People with little if any family to rely on

If you are near any of the RV parks along the Gulf Coast Region and the inland communities well into Victoria, TX, check upon these residents, knock on these doors.  Bring them water, bring them ice, bring them food.

RV parks as shown on Google Maps across the Hurricane Harvey impact area. Zoom in to see more RV parks.

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