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Harvey Commemoration honors those who help rebuild OC

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Orange County River Fest and the Backwaters Challenge fishing tournament on Friday, Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce and Orange County Disaster Rebuild held a Harvey Commemorative event to recognize those who gave and supported the recovery efforts of Orange County.

One man who all agreed deserved special recognition was Chris Hensman with Rebuild Texas.

Orange County Judge John Gothia retold the story of how he met Hensman. 

“Trahan and I went to Lumberton to meet with Rebuild Texas,” Gothia said. “I said I had one request and I had been told if we get a penny we got lucky. My request was to remember Orange County was here too. Chris made sure we got help and he worked hard to get it.”

Hensman was presented with a plaque for his continued dedication to Orange County and his support in the recovery efforts.

“We have to make a lot of hard decisions at Rebuild Texas,” Hensman said. “Partnering with Orange County was an easy one.”

To date, the organization has invested $4 million in Orange County.

Congressman Brian Babin’s representative Lanie Brown presented 11 Congressional Certificate of Recognition to the following organizations:

  • American Red Cross
  • Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Habitat for Humanity Jefferson County
  • IConnect
  • Nehemiah’s Vision
  • OC Disaster Rebuild
  • Rebuild Texas
  • Salvation Army
  • Samaritan’s Purse
  • Texas General Land Office
  • United Way of Orange County

Orange County was the third hardest hit in Texas from Tropical Storm Harvey which poured historic rain on the area causing most of the county to flood. “Eighty percent of the community was affected,” Michelle Tubberville, executive director of OC Disaster Rebuild, said. “Of those, 49% are in their homes again.”

Tubberville said it would not have been possible with the support of the OC Disaster Rebuild Board:

  • Kimberly Stiebig
  • Russell Bottley
  • Ida Schossow – president of the board
  • Lori Ardoin
  • Dave Young

“We will make sure Orange County is recovered,” Tubblebville said.