Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, affected Houston and other southeastern parts of Texas, resulting in floodings, major property damages, and even deaths. Luckily, the Corpus Christi Center was fortunate since they didn’t sustain much damage, the Center Director, Sara Heydon, described the devastation as “a small amount.”
“Wind-driven rain came in our office and hallway windows. Corpus Christi was spared a direct hit – the full force of Hurricane Harvey came ashore about 30 miles away, where many of our students and faculty live,” said Heydon.
Following the hit of Hurricane Harvey, there were many parts of southeast Texas that suffered due to property damages. Those who had limited resources, such as water and power suffered greatly, as well. However, despite this affecting some parts, the Corpus Christi Center was able to reopen on Sept. 5, only couple days after the hurricane hit.
“After delays due to lack of electricity and running water, reopening went well. Our building was intact, we had internet access, and the staff was able to return,” said Heydon.
Along with staff, faculty and students were able to return to continue with the academic year.
According to Heydon, “Despite some having to find alternate living arrangements and not having power, all the faculty and most of our students came back.”
As Heydon said, there were some students who were not able to continue with classes.
“At least 17 students withdrew due to the hurricane. Instructors helped many other students by giving them extended time to complete assignments,” said Heydon.
Saint Leo has been able to encourage its faculty to make extensions for the students’ accommodations, which was reported on the Saint Leo website when Hurricane Harvey was projected to hit the area. The students’ ability to perform in classes is still a concern, particularly for Heydon.
She states that “Cell and internet service are still not fully restored in some areas, so we are worried that some students won’t be able to complete their classes, or perhaps haven’t been able to contact us.”
There were many persons from the center who suffered damages to personal property. Despite their issues, the center’s employees’ sense of community has been going strong, as efforts to assist the center are underway, notwithstanding the students helping each other.
“Some of our students’ and faculty members’ homes and vehicles were destroyed, while others suffered major property damage,” said Heydon. “We are collecting items, like clothing, and are helping them connect with resources. Our students were amazingly generous towards each other – offering the use of chainsaws, generators, RVs, and their time/help to those in need.”