ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Ten years ago today Hurricane Rita came through Deep East Texas destroying almost everything in its path. The historic storm resulted in many evacuees looking for shelter and comfort here in the Pineywoods.
"Makes us feel good that something that we did helped out," Sean Ericson, Radio Personality said.
Hurricane Rita reached winds of nearly two hundred miles per hour. The intense storm Destroyed homes and businesses in the Texas gulf, which caused many Texans to come to the Pineywoods.
"Most of them got here in the wee hours of the morning, a lot of our church people were here to help them unload and get them set and all that," Pastor Aubrey Knox, First Baptist Lufkin said.
"The chaotic part was the evacuees coming in," Zavalla Fire Chief Chris Wade said. "We have a town of about seven hundred people, and it jumped to about forty-five hundred in two or three days. The stores and restaurants couldn't keep up."
Rita can be described as one of east Texas most vulnerable times. Thanks to some stakeholders, evacuees had different ways to find comfort.
"When they're able to do things that they're used to, even when things are flying all around them like a hurricane, it's a calming effect," Merrell said.
The intense storm left many without a home, or essentials like food, water, and power.
"People calling in to radio stations because it was no electricity it was hot," Wade said.
Through the storm, many community leaders were able to be the light for some residents.
"We had folks who could've been home taking care of things but they were up here helping out met the needs of others," Knox said.
"Went out started cutting trees off roads and houses," Wade said. "Doing what we could to help."