Aleaha Fettig, DDS Valerie Drake, DDS
1409 6th Ave. SE #8, Aberdeen, SD 57401 |
Our Sister Office in Rockport How Hurricane Harvey Hit Close to Home
This fall, numerous natural disasters shook the United States. Fire and earthquakes devastated the West Coast and the Rocky Mountains, while massive hurricanes tore apart the southern U.S. and Puerto Rico. We watched as Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf of Mexico and left Houston underwater. Though the hurricane was a thousand miles away, the aftermath hit close to
themselves displaced and spread out to other areas of Texas, seeking refuge in Dallas or San Antonio. Schools have now reopened, but were closed for nearly two months. In the midst of this tragedy, I was reminded that there is always hope. People from all over the country drove down to Texas and volunteered their expertise.
Plumbers, electricians, construction workers, and others came to help rebuild. Even people without such skill sets were there to help with
home. Many patients may not be aware that Aberdeen Smiles has a sister office down in Texas. The name of the sister office is Sabal Dental, and it’s a practice in the beach town of Rockport, Texas. When Dr. Aleaha Fettig, my business partner, and I
rescue or provide humanitarian aid. Churches, in particular, have been
just amazing. There’s a church group from Louisiana that set up shop in Rockport, serving hot meals to people who couldn’t cook in their own homes. It was amazing to see the outpouring of help from total strangers.
made plans to come to Aberdeen, I spent a lot of time finding a new dentist who could take over the Rockport office. My partner at Sabal Dental, Dr. Valerie Sperry, only recently moved to Rockport with her husband and their two young sons. She was just starting to get into the swing of things when Hurricane Harvey ripped through. As soon as I could, I flew down to Rockport to help with recovery efforts. We were blessed to find that the Sabal Dental office had suffered only slight water damage. While the power and internet were hit-and-miss for a while, we were back on our feet in just over a month. This is far more than I can say for the rest of the beautiful community. As a whole, Rockport was left utterly devastated. CNN described the town as “the victim of an apocalypse,” and having been down there myself, I can say this isn’t an exaggeration. Homes were completely destroyed, power lines crumbled, and the city suffered a total infrastructure collapse. With nowhere else to go, many families found
Since the hurricane, I’ve been flying back and forth between Aberdeen and Rockport to help Dr. Sperry recover. She and her family were fine, having evacuated just before the hurricane hit. Together, we got Sabal Dental up and running again, ready to serve the people of Rockport however we can. Meanwhile, Dr. Fettig held down the fort back home and did an amazing job. I don’t know how I would have managed this crisis without her support. I should be back home for good this month, and you can bet Dr. Fettig is someone I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving. I’m also thankful for the countless volunteers who reached out and helped Rockport after the disaster. When things get tough, it’s important to remember we’re all in this together, and whatever help we’re able to offer can make all the difference in the world.
— Dr. Valerie Drake
Aberdeen Smiles • 605-225-2236 • 1
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