T-shirts, merchandise spark debate in Corpus Christi

A couple visiting Texas from Oklahoma is selling merchandise that is sparking up a debate in Corpus Christi.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A couple visiting Texas from Oklahoma is selling merchandise that is sparking up a debate in Corpus Christi.

Jeff Thomson and his wife are selling t-shirts, hats and other items with phrases like, "I survived Hurricane Harvey" written on them.

The couple is selling the merchandise under a white tent in a parking lot in Corpus Christi. 

"I think it's pretty cool. I mean, it's one of the storms of the century." said Thomson.

Merchandise similar to Thomson's is being sold in other devastated areas like Arnasa Pass and Rockport as well.

Thomson said he and his wife are visiting from Tulsa, Oklahoma and happened to be in Texas when Hurricane Harvey hit. He said they view the merchandise as souvenirs from a historic event.

"This was an impressive storm. I kinda wanted a little bit of a memory, something to say I went through it." said Thomson on Wednesday.

Others who passed by the tent say selling the merchandise is in poor taste.

Just a few feet away was Adrianna Ortega who works for Starbreak Glass and Repair. She said she feels it's insensitive to those who did lose their lives and their homes during Harvey.

"It's distasteful. It wasn't fun being without power for five to six days..." she said.

In response to critics, Thomson said, "I think they need to loosen up."

The t-shirt company is from out of state and Thomson said the proceeds will not go to Harvey victims, but will go back to the company. He said they are selling the t-shirts at a discounted price however.

"They're just trying to profit off other peoples...I guess, misery? It's not fair, it's not right." said Ortega.

While, profits from this company are not going to Harvey victims, there are many other companies and businesses who are selling shirts and other goods to give money back to Hurricane Harvey relief. 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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