Hurricane Harvey Damage Assessment, Adjuster Placement: Southern Region

Hurricane Harvey Damage Assessment, Adjuster Placement: Southern Region

Posted on: September 1, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Field Observations

In order to properly apportion Vanguard’s resources and efficiently implement a response to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, it became clear that we needed specific, first-hand information.  For that reason, members of the Vanguard team traveled to the Houston area for an on-site assessment.

September 1 – 3, we traveled as close as possible to the affected areas in order to gain a better understanding of the scope of the storm and, thereby, allowing us to make informed decisions as to where we should place our people and dispatch resources. Five years ago, when Vanguard went through this same exercise following Hurricane Sandy, we shared short descriptions and photographs of what we found.

Given the positive feedback, we’re providing the same damage assessment summaries of Hurricane Harvey’s impact, beginning with the southern region:

Corpus Christi
Though the city dodged the worst of Harvey, it did incur both wind and flooding damage. Aside from Houston, Corpus Christi was the largest city affected and, for that reason, quite a few losses are expected.  As can be seen from the attached photos, there was significant damage. With that being said, much of Corpus Christi’s infrastructure survived mostly intact and appears to be a good staging ground for southern storm damage response.


As many of you know, Port Aransas/Rockport was ground zero for Hurricane Harvey.  Rockport’s mayor summed it up best when he said, “Rockport took it right on the nose.” It was hard to find a building anywhere in the town that was not affected. Many were damaged significantly and of those, quite a few were little more than piles of debris.


News outlets regularly covered the large numbers of volunteers providing assistance. This level of support was clearly evident in Rockport, where every strip plaza parking lot seemed to serve as a “pop up” volunteer center with groups competing to give away free food, water, clothing and laundry services. One company was even fixing flat tires free-of-charge.


Of all of the observed communities, Rockport was the hardest hit. It will clearly be quite a long time until this vacation community is fully restored. As an aside, when arriving at both Rockport and Holiday Beach, we witnessed military convoys entering and alternately leaving both municipalities.

Holiday Beach
Holiday Beach is located on a small peninsula just north of Rockport, where Harvey first made landfall.  This is a vacation community with vacation trailer parks and a mix of older and newly constructed single family homes. This area was badly hit with numerous total loss trailers and structural damage to most of the buildings along the main highway throughout the town.

Many of the buildings were total losses. Both the marina and small airport were damaged. However, on a more positive note, Holiday Beach is a good example of the resilience of new construction techniques. While several of the older homes showed minor to severe damage, a much smaller number of new construction homes were damaged. In fact, quite a few of the newer constructions showed no signs of damage at all.

As can be seen from the last photograph, Holiday Beach residents are still maintaining their sense of humor. Painted on the keel of a boat, inverted by the hurricane, are the words “4 Sale…Cheap.”



Adjuster Placement

Corpus Christi/Rockport/Holiday Beach
What continues to strike me is just how large Texas is geographically and the logistical difficulty that is present in placing adjusters efficiently. We expect that a grouping of adjusters in Corpus Christi will be needed to address that city’s significant wind and flood losses and from this location, they could also service Rockport, Port Aransas, Refugio, etc., but their ability to reach Victoria and that surrounding area will be hampered by a 1.5 to 2 hour commute.


Robert Gilliam is the original founder and only president of Vanguard. As part of his role, he also serves as the active director of all corporate operations including claims handling, marketing and finances. Even with these diverse duties, Robert still maintains a small pending to ensure that corporate responsibilities don’t cause him to lose touch with the ever-changing state of the adjusting profession.