The town of Mauriceville is finally emerging from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Harvey. Now people are discovering the amount of rebuilding it will take to return to normal.
The Market Basket, for instance, is the only grocery store in the area, but it has a significant amount of damage, and debris strewn across its parking lot. It, like many other businesses in the area, is nowhere near ready to re-open.
Those that can function have to overcome significant obstacles.
“I got to drive to Dallas to bring food,” said Glendi Perez, who owns Romano’s Restaurant. “Yes, for cheese, for flour. It’s very crazy.”
Romano’s is one of just two places in town where people can get fresh food. (Subway, located in the same complex, is also open.)
Perez gives out lots of discounts these days. She loves when her neighbors get a smile with their meal.
“I like (Mauriceville),” she explained, “because all peoples, everybody helps over here.”
Romano’s did not flood during Harvey, but her home did. She, her husband, and their four children have slept in the restaurant for three days because it is the only place they can stay.
“I see everything over here on this street,” she said, looking across Highway 12. “My heart broke.”
The flooding in Mauriceville reached four to five feet deep in many places. At the nearby Dollar General on Highway 62, the water was so high, it carried a large, metal ice machine more than 100 yards away to the edge of a nearby field. The store’s manager estimated that it would take a month or more before it would be able to open once more.
Even with a limited menu because of the lack of ingredients, Romano’s is still serving plenty of Italian and Mexican food. Getting to feed people who lost as much as she did alleviates some of the stress that remains for Perez after the water retreated.
“The lines—phones—no work,” she mentioned. “Yeah, internet no work, only lights and gas. But I’m so excited, I’m staying alive, you know? Yeah. And my family, too.”