It’s pitch dark when entering the front doors of the Live Oak Learning Center in Rockport, Texas. On Saturday, the sounds of dripping water could be heard down almost every hall.
“Can you get more buckets out to catch the leaks?” asked 30-year-old Zach Dearing to 17-year-old Josh Campbell, as he assigns more chores.
Since the then-category 4 Hurricane Harvey plowed head-on into this small coastal town on Friday, an estimated 250 residents are now living in the town’s elementary school -- with mostly young people making sure everyone is taken care of and doing alright.
"As the storm started intensifying, we kind of organized," said Dearing, who is helping to organize the shelter. "We were taking turns sleeping, getting to people, making sure they had everything they needed.”
Rockport was under a mandatory evacuation order leading up to the hurricane’s landfall, so there were no official shelters opened up in the area. Dearing, along with many others, chose to stay back with his property. He told ABC News that the group decided to open up a grassroots shelter in the school right before the storm hit because the doors were unlocked.
"We gathered all the resources we could," said Dearing.
The electricity has been out in Rockport since the storm began, and the local cell phone tower is still not working. Mashon Hunt, 17, is helping to run the shelter. She told ABC News she still hasn’t gotten in touch with many of her loved ones.
“I don’t have much family but those who I do have, you know when I get cell service, I’ll see if they’re ok and [they can] check on me,” Hunt said.
“It’s just scary to think, ‘what if we don’t have a place after this?’” she added.
Campbell, a rising high school senior, said the night the storm hit, the wind sounded like "a cat fight” and the pounding rain was relentless. Most slept on the floors of the gym and hallways, as there were only about a half a dozen cots available in the building.
As of Saturday afternoon, the shelter had not received outside help, aside from law enforcement's sending an officer, so the facility was doing what it could until more help arrived. Without cellphone service, though, it was unclear when that would be.
"After the storm I'm actually going to try and find how I can help clean up this mess," said Campbell. "At the end of the day, we're family, you know, because it brings everyone together."