GALVESTON – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick went back nearly 180 years in the state’s history to find a suitable comparison to the community spirit shown by residents in Hurricane Harvey’s crosshairs last month.
Addressing attendees of the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Update Luncheon on Sept. 6 at the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, Patrick alluded to the Battle of Gonzales and the storied flag associated with it when talking about the brave united front put on by hundreds from Dickinson to Houston’s Meyerland neighborhood as Harvey’s floodwaters rose.
“Harvey came and we took it,” said the lieutenant governor, eliciting cheers and applause.
He acknowledged the deep divisions currently plaguing the nation, but asserted that Texas taught its fellow states a lesson in teamwork and resiliency.
“In Texas today, there are no Republicans, there are no Democrats, there are no moderates, liberals, or conservatives,” he said. “There are no issues between black, white, and brown. Whoever needed help got it… this spirit is going to make us better.”
In addition to commending average coastal Texans, emergency personnel, and volunteers, Patrick provided an update on the state’s post-Harvey recovery efforts. He said he and Gov. Greg Abbott have been trying to get to the counties mostly impacted by the hurricane, as well as get around to thanking and congratulating first responders in said counties.
Nearly 700,000 residents and approximately 300,000 homes were affected, according to him.
Patrick warned it will be a long time before the state can recover.
“Some will be back maybe in a month in their homes,” he said. “Some will be back in six months or nine months. In some places, it will be a year… two years or more. I know patience will grow thin and people will grow weary and there will be frustration. Things will not go smoothly as we like all the time.”
The lieutenant governor said that Pres. Donald Trump “is committed” to Texas and Abbott gave the federal government an “A-plus so far.”
“This is just the first quarter of a very long game,” he said. “Our job is to stay focused moving forward.”