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George Strait, the “King of Country Music,” visited Rockport with Gov. Greg Abbott to bring attention to the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Harvey in the Coastal Bend Area.
Tim Acosta/Caller-Times

ROCKPORT, TEXAS — Someone wrote on the back of Cindy Taulbert’s shirt on Thursday, but she was happy as could be about it.

That “somebody” was none other than country music legend George Strait, who signed Taulbert’s shirt as he visited with residents in Rockport. Strait was in the area with Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday to discuss Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Rockport and the surrounding areas.

Although some sense of normalcy is starting to return to the area, debris still lines the roads in Aransas County and damaged homes or businesses are still visible.

The recovery process will likely take months. Residents hoped Strait, who owns a house here, would bring renewed national attention to the local recovery effort.

“We needed this so bad because a lot of people thought that we just needed clothes,” said Taulbert, the 54-year-old co-owner of Rockport’s House of Boats. “We needed for the people to really see the (individuals) that need help.

“We need hands here to help us … and I think him doing this is going to bring the helping hands.”

More: Drone view shows continuing cleanup from Hurricane Harvey on Texas coast

About 2,000 to 3,000 people — some from as far away as Woodsboro and Kingsville — gathered outside ACE Hardware in Rockport for Strait’s appearance. Abbott and Strait were also joined by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas General Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Deputy Secretary of U.S. Homeland Security Elaine Duke.

Abbott recently named Sharp to oversee the Commission to Rebuild Texas, a newly formed task force that is focused on rebuilding the state after the hurricanes.