Harvey, HEB and a Hospital District

Published 6:35 am Saturday, October 7, 2017

By Bobby Tingle


September 2017 provided some long-term memories for residents of Orange County. Prominent in the database of memories will be Hurricane Harvey.

Orange County was not the recipient of Hurricane Harvey’s wrath. He exerted his hurricane force winds further south on the Gulf coast before quickly dissipating to sub hurricane strength. High pressure systems in the atmosphere, whatever that means, prevented the remnants of Harvey, downgraded by landfall to a tropical storm, from moving inland. We all watched as tropical storm Harvey swirled, just inland, incessantly raining, inundating Houston and the surrounding area.

We watched, waiting for Harvey to move on, expecting to see a track inland where the rain would spread over a track moving toward Colorado or Tennessee. Instead Harvey simply moved northeast up the coast and settled in again. This time over several counties east of where he made landfall. There he continued to produce rain, flooding and destruction.

Sometimes in life, we experience events we don’t quite know how to deal with. We have no history to help us, to know what to expect. Harvey may be one of those events.

As you move around town the past few days, I hope you have noticed the debris removal. Much is left to deal with, but the process has begun. Interruptions in the flow of traffic are a mild inconvenience when trucks block streets as they are filled with debris.

“I feel like everything is on the mend” opined my bride as I wrote this column.

It’s progress.

The Orange Leader has reported on two other events recently.

If you stand on the front porch of The Orange Leader, at the front of the Dal Sasso building, you can watch the steady drumbeat of demolition leading to progress. Operators of heavy equipment and trucks have methodically taken down, sorted and removed a building.

HEB has plans to build a new store on the lot being cleared. It sits across from Granger Chevrolet and has been the staging ground for much of their new car inventory. It is at the intersection of Henrietta and MacArthur. Suggestions have been made about the potential for a new traffic light on MacArthur at Henrietta. The intention is to provide a ‘safe’ entry point into the parking lot of the new HEB.

HEB and Harvey have each brought a need for demolition. Demolition ought to always lead to progress.

Unknown to many of us, during the storm, was another positive development. A petition, calling for a countywide election was being circulated. The outcome of the petition is an election called by Orange County Commissioners Court to be held in December.

While the winds of tropical storm Harvey swirled about us, as we endured the incessant rainfall, as we demolish and rebuild, an opportunity paving a viable path for establishing a local hospital has emerged.

That is good news.

The details have been reported. Come by The Orange Leader and we will get you copies of past editions with published reports. You can also go to www.orangeleader.com and use the search bar to find ‘hospital’ stories that have been posted online.

A new HEB and a local hospital have the potential to provide an economic boost to Orange County.

I urge you to support both as we look forward to the economic and personal benefits.


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at bobby.tingle@orangeleader.com.