Harvey left heavy damage in Patton Village,with roads washed out, and what’s more, the sewer lift station circuit boards were destroyed, causing sewage bypass. 18-wheeler tankers were unable to help due to the roads washed out – not just washed out, but in some cases left as craters with pipes running through them. Montgomery County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts was supposed to be on vacation this week, but when the catastrophic storm struck southeast Texas, he chose to stay home and help people instead.
Judge Metts heard about the problem in Patton Village Wednesday, and he decided four days of raw sewage leaking out of an overwhelmed and unreachable sewage system was enough. Judge Metts and his cousin Wade Willis who owns Wade Willis Timber joined forces to fix the problem. Like his cousin, Willis always makes himself available when there’s a need his skills and equipment can answer, with the pair typically working together. An attempt had been made to correct the problem, but it failed, due to the small size of the rock used. As with so many things, when dealing with a washed out road and mud surrounded by water, size matters. The small rocks were sinking into the mud and spreading out, making the road treacherous and impassable for most vehicles. According to Metts and Willis, the large rock must be laid and packed first, and can then be made smoother with smaller sized rock.
After another East County resident and business owner, Charlie Hairgrove, hauled in several truckloads of rock, and Willis and Metts worked to smooth out and pack down the area that was supposed to be a road, AAAA Septic began driving trucks across the new rock to pump out the lift stations and transport it to the new Patton Village Waste water Treatment Plant. As each truck moved down the narrow washed out road, Willis would move more rock into the tracks to strengthen it.
As Willis and Metts worked on the road, Patton Village Police Sergeant Hernandez patrolled the streets in a 4-wheel drive utility vehicle. He talked about the night of the flood, and recounted some of the rescues out of home windows and off of roofs, and in one case, a porch that was elevated to a second story level to avoid flooding. Even that home was no match for what Harvey did. Front yards were piled with remnants of lives, from baby beds, to living room furniture and bedding. The waters rose so quickly, there was no way for people to escape with anything more than their lives in most cases. Some of the items and pieces of items that lay strewn about the yards and the area where the streets had been were obviously antiques and probably family heirlooms, forever lost.
At Patton Village City Hall, a distribution center has been established. According to Valerie Perry, the distribution center is not just for Patton Village but all of East Montgomery County. 18-wheeler’s from around the nation have been arriving with more and more supplies, food, cleaning supplies, dog food, horse feed, personal hygiene items.