PORT MANSFIELD, Texas – The southern eye wall of Hurricane Hanna passed through Port Mansfield over the past weekend. 

There are approximately 600 residential structures and 100 commercial structures ranging from restaurants, convenience stores boat barns to condominium complexes at Port Mansfield.

Ron Mills, executive port director for Willacy County Navigation District, gave Ron Whitlock Reports an update on the damage caused to the port community by the hurricane.

Audio interview with Ron Mills

Mills said there was record rainfall of 14.7 inches, with record wind reported by NOAA of 103 gusts. Multiple local residents recorded sustained winds of 100-plus for up to an hour. Official maximum sustained winds were 93.

“There are two structures that have been damaged to an extent that they are likely uninhabitable. One mobile home on the north side of town between Sea Spray and Ranch Streets has been severely damaged,” Mills said.

“A home at 709 Baffin has had the roof completely lifted from the residence and deposited in a neighboring parking lot. The interior spaces are completely exposed. A third home at approximately 1002 Mansfield Dr. (HWY 186) across from the church had about one third of its roof removed exposing the interior.”

As for rood damage, Mills said at least half of all structures in Port Mansfield have significant shingle and roof damage. “All structures in the area have some level of damage that will likely require re-shingle and many reroof.”

In addition, approximately 35 percent of homes of all types received some level of damage to siding and windows. At least 40 homes received major structural damage exposing interior wall surfaces and insulated area to the outside elements.

As for boat barns and similar structures, Mills said a boat barn with vessels inside approximately 150 feet long was totally destroyed with debris scattered over several acres. “At least four storage structures had their doors blown off with the doors and partial content spread over an extensive area.”

There are and around 100 at four RV Parks at Port Mansfield. “At least four of those units were flipped on their sides and two of those rolled multiple times bursting apart and scattering debris over an extended area,” Mills said. “Most all RVs suffered some level of damage. The vast majority of all RVs in port are primary residences and many were occupied during the event. One turn over was occupied but were evacuated without injury by local PD.”

As for electrical infrastructure, Mills said at least 30 power poles in and along the highway leading to Port Mansfield were broken and many totally destroyed. Fifty percent of the community had power restored as of 8:45 p.m. Tuesday July 28. Electrical contractors remain in town attempting to restore the remaining services. 

“As for water supplies, a major waterline that runs throughout the marine was destroyed during the event. That damaged lead to the loss of the majority of the communities water supply,” Mills said.

“That issue has been isolated and will be repaired in the near future. North Alamo (Water Supply Corporation) has been unable to provide the water needed to refill system or keep up with demand. They restarted their pump station on Tuesday 28 at around 5:00 p.m. and are attempting to provide sufficient water to alleviate our shortages.”

Mills said the sewer system was not adversely effected by the storm. “Mobile generators have been utilized a moved throughout the event and no accidental releases of sewage have occurred.”

With regard to fencing, outbuildings and awnings: Mills said the easiest assumption to make is that every fence in the community is destroyed. “If there is an exception it isn’t sufficient to mention. Hundreds of outbuilding and awnings and carports are destroyed. Virtually all the local debris outside of trees is from outbuildings.”

Mills said countless trees have been destroyed or damaged to a point they will need to be cut down. “Numbers are in the several hundreds,” he said.

Mills added that due to the port’s immediate proximity to the Laguna Madre, flooding is not a significant concern and there were no reports of accumulation with the event. 

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