MERCEDES, Texas (KVEO) — The powerful thunderstorm that swept through the Rio Grande Valley on May 11 caused damage throughout, much of it coming in the mid-valley.
One place that was damaged during the storm was the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show (RGVLS).
The livestock show was back in full force this year after sitting out 2020 due to the pandemic. Things were going well for the first week until the storm rolled through.
“All a lot of us can do is laugh. It’s just like you said, COVID last year, and here we come with a severe storm that we had last night,” said Mando Correa, the general manager of the RGVLS.
The storm caused some damage to the show grounds, but the managers for the livestock show weren’t going to let a few blown-over fences and collapsed tents stop them from putting on the show.
“We got a great crew out here, a great board of directors that [are] really supportive. They go all out to make things happen,” said Correa.
The biggest issues were portions of the fence had been blown down, several tents set up over vendor stalls had been destroyed, too. There was some minor damage to the roof of the building that houses the office as well.
Correa told KVEO that damages in the morning were somewhat bad, but nothing they couldn’t work with.
“There was no doubt in our mind at the beginning of the morning we were going to do all we could to get this going,” he said.
Repairs began early in the morning and most of the fixing was done by the time the livestock show opened its gates at 4 p.m.
There was still a few things that needed a bit more time.
“I feel confident, come tomorrow morning, we’ll come out here and be pretty much in a position to proceed as usual.”
The RGVLS boasts several games and carnival rides that people can ride. Correa said that they had been unaffected by the winds. He had spoken with the operator of the carnival rides.
“They’ve assured me that they’re ready to go, they want to go, they want to make this thing happen just like the rest of us do.”
The 60+ mph winds that the Rio Grande Valley experienced during the storm weren’t enough to dampen the livestock show’s spirits.
“Don’t give up hope on us. Come on out, we’re going to have all of the events you were looking forward to today, and I can assure them that they’ll have a really good time out here,” said Correa.