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Thread: Hurricane Ike report from Galveston

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    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    Arrow A ride to Galveston to see the clean up

    I haven't been back to Galveston since before Thanksgiving and wanted to see how the clean up is progressing. While there's still lots of clean up ahead, there's been significant progress. Mountains of debris have been removed when compared to my first ride through following the storm. The area around where this first pic was taken sustained heavy damage from the surge -- many buildings are gone. This boat came to rest about 100 yards from its mooring -- there would have been a building between the camera and the boat in this pic but it's no longer there.



    This is where I often stopped to tank up before heading back to Houston on my frequent trips down to the beach. This gas station was still standing after the storm but was completely gutted and only the shell of the building remained -- now it's a nice pile of debris waiting to be removed.



    One of the island's destinations was back open for business -- The Spot serves some great burgers right on Seawall Blvd.



    The historic Strand district was hit by the storm surge -- here you can make out a blue line across the building marking the surge height. A few businesses were open yesterday, but many remain shuttered.



    A few boats remain laying around the island, but many more have been moved.



    This marina sustained heavy damage -- in addition to the collapsed building seen here, another dry storage building full of boats burned to the ground during the storm, the fire department unable to get to it because the streets were flooded.



    Lots of debris remains around the island -- here's a pic from the east end near the ship channel where a bobcat is busy clearing the flotsam. On my first trip down after the storm this beach was covered with rubbermaid products washed out of people's homes -- you could have stocked a Wal Mart with all the storage containers washed up here. There were still people picking through the debris yesterday, but all the "good" stuff is gone.



    Lots of beach restoration going on across the island. Here they're digging up sand in one spot....



    .... to deposit it here about a mile further down the beach.



    The famous Galveston Balinese Room is gone.



    All that remains are some of the old broken pilings and this placard indicating its historic registry.



    What's left of the old souvenir shops between the Balinese and the Flagship hotel.



    This concrete fishing pier took a real beating -- three people were rescued by helicopter from the roof of the caretaker's apartment - they tried to ride out the storm and were afraid the apartment would eventually go down with the pier. None of the pier's decking remains and about 100' of the pier is completely gone.





    Beyond the seawall, there is extensive erosion. You can see by the hydrant and manhole pictured how much sand is gone. Even the road was undermined by the wave action -- something I didn't notice until I was walking back to the bike.



    More effects of erosion along the beach front properties. They've already started moving sand back under these houses.



    The surge and wave action removed several feet of beach as far as I could see.



    At the far western end of Galveston Island is San Luis pass -- popular with fishermen. If the fish aren't biting, strap a lawnmower engine to your back and go flying.



    When the pilot noticed me stopped along the San Luis pass bridge, he turned my way for a photo op.



    Beyond San Luis pass is the "Blue Water" highway that goes to Surfside and Freeport. The road was breached in several places within a few miles of the San Luis pass bridge just beyond Galveston Island. A temporary gravel road crosses here where about 100' of road was washed away.

    Last edited by TexanRT; 01-01-2009 at 01:40 PM. Reason: spell, edit
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  2. #2
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Thanks TexanRT

    Actually headed down there Tuesday to do some repairs...pretty depressing to see all the landmarks destroyed and/or damaged
    I still own my family's place on the West End...It has been there since 1962 when that end of the island was very lightly developed...took a hit in 1983 with a tornado,this time 5' of surge under house. After the recovery and the market settles...I am finally going to let it go.

    Lots of shape of the Island here,some of my house and cleanup
    My first trip right after they opened the island back up:
    http://henzilla.smugmug.com/gallery/...85612639_pYAsP


    my second trip coming from the Freeport side down that Bluewater Highway you ended your report with...major damage!

    http://henzilla.smugmug.com/gallery/...98787049_vT35g
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
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    07 R1200GS Rich's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this. I had the opportunity to go to Glaveston in Feb of 2007 while attending a training school in Houston. What a site for a northern boy to experience. I walked the beaches and picked up sea shells for my wife, and admired the beachfront properties you just showed. I was in awe of the place, to tell the truth. I had never seen the ocean prior to my visit, so you can imagine my awe.

    As we were driving around the island, I mentioned to one of my co-workers who had tagged along that I could live in a place like that for a while. Your photos bring back memories of him saying "Wait until a big storm rolls through".

    I can't imagine the rebuilding and cleanup that follows a storm like this.

    How did the ports fair where all the oil tankers come and go? We watched ships for a couple hours or so, fascinating site. I know, I need to get out more.

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    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    Ports are open for business

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I can't imagine the rebuilding and cleanup that follows a storm like this. How did the ports fair where all the oil tankers come and go? We watched ships for a couple hours or so, fascinating site. I know, I need to get out more.
    We owned a beach house down there for 7 years -- from July 2001 until June 2008 -- we managed to miss the big one. Fortunately the new owners came out okay with only some moderate damage. But there's lots left to do -- it will be a long time before the scars of this storm are healed over.

    On this trip through I noticed many more ships anchored offshore than I've ever seen before -- they dotted the horizon off Galveston's beach -- must have been 50 or more. I know the ports are up and running so I can't explain all the moored ships off the beach.
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    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    Thanks TexanRT

    Actually headed down there Tuesday to do some repairs...pretty depressing to see all the landmarks destroyed and/or damaged I still own my family's place on the West End...It has been there since 1962 when that end of the island was very lightly developed...took a hit in 1983 with a tornado,this time 5' of surge under house. After the recovery and the market settles...I am finally going to let it go.
    http://henzilla.smugmug.com/gallery/...98787049_vT35g
    Looks like your place is in SeaIsle We owned a place on Lampasas for several years and just sold it back at the beginning of Summer '08. The new owners had about 4 feet of water downstairs and part of the roof was taken off -- otherwise, they came out okay. I bet we were covering the same roads at about the same time -- many of your pics look very familiar! I was down there the day the opened FM3005 to traffic -- we still own a lot down there and I wanted to make sure it didn't become a trash dump.
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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanRT View Post
    On this trip through I noticed many more ships anchored offshore than I've ever seen before -- they dotted the horizon off Galveston's beach -- must have been 50 or more. I know the ports are up and running so I can't explain all the moored ships off the beach.
    My sister works at an oil terminal off the Ship Channel...they lost docking capacity and power to some of the facilities early on. lot's of the Nav Aids (buoys and markers) were "relocated" and they are still replacing some. There were a few barges loose in the Houston Channel that blocked all access for a bit also after the storm. There is a huge backlog for container shipping from what I have heard also. ALmost all of the structures from the town of Gilchrist on Point Bolivar was in the bay also..they say 95% gone!
    check out this pic from over there
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Steve Henson
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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanRT View Post
    Looks like your place is in SeaIsle We owned a place on Lampasas for several years and just sold it back at the beginning of Summer '08. The new owners had about 4 feet of water downstairs and part of the roof was taken off -- otherwise, they came out okay. I bet we were covering the same roads at about the same time -- many of your pics look very familiar! I was down there the day the opened FM3005 to traffic -- we still own a lot down there and I wanted to make sure it didn't become a trash dump.

    I was letting my family and kids have "one last summer" before I sold...talk about spilt milk,but, life does go on...I just have to wait another year or two and hope the storm cycle of the past few years is waning...I hope! When it's nice down there,you cannot beat it. The beaches and water are clearer elsewhere,but, it's a short ride to the salt breeze!
    People don't comprehend the scope of the surge...wasn't as bad on west end of island, Point Bolivar east of Galveston took the brunt with a reported 14-16' rush.Everything on Galveston Island with exception of the inland side of structures built on the seawall had at least 4-6' of water covering it. I would guess an aerial shot at the time of landfall would be a very sobering sight.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I can't imagine the rebuilding and cleanup that follows a storm like this.
    just a piece of info in a three month after report:

    http://www.cityofgalveston.org/_priv...c_12-18-08.pdf

    3 Month Anniversary ÔÇô
    Debris
     1,146,446 cubic yards of debris have been collected
    from the public right‐of‐way
     648,533 cubic yards of debris have been hauled off
    the island (compaction ratio)
     145,351 cubic yards of sand has been collected and
    stock piled at beach access points
     497 vehicles have been towed to storage lots
     49,696 white goods units have been collected
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  9. #9
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    What is a white goods unit?
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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    Registered User john1691's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    What is a white goods unit?
    Not 100% sure, but I think washers, dryers, stoves, refrigerators.

    Thanks for the updates everyone. My friend Doug ("Shorty" on this forum) has a 19 year old son who is doing fulltime volunteer relief work there through the Evangelical Free Church, an extension of the Katrina effort that continues even now. Every time I see the devistation I am thankful for living here in PA!
    john1691
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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    What is a white goods unit?
    I also wondered, I believe john1691 nailed it...I had three fridges and 2 water heaters in my yard. They waived the "remove freon" rule...imagine the Freon 22 released on this mess
    Steve Henson
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    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

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    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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    I was in Galveston the year the MOA Rally was in Fredrickburg. Went south along the beaches and man i thought I was gonna NEVER go back home, it was THAT cool. Never made it even as far as Corpus Christi, you know how life is sometimes. But for that fleeting 25 seconds I was gonna drive it til the wheels fell off......
    Anyways, it sure was a nice area. 2 questions, there was an aviation museum right by the bridge that took you in to town, how did that do?
    And, wondering if they sell any kind of shirts yet for the Balinese Room, too bad I missed that, looked cool. Hope they can rebuild. (I did go to their website, thought I'd ask if you know, I can try the places email address. I imagine there is nothing left, unless they reordered some).
    Speaking of Katrina, I was in NOLA less thana week after it hit with a bus. Ended up hauling the military IN instead of evacuees OUT. Like I say, you know how life is sometimes......

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    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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  14. #14
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Anyways, it sure was a nice area. 2 questions, there was an aviation museum right by the bridge that took you in to town, how did that do?

    And, wondering if they sell any kind of shirts yet for the Balinese Room, too bad I missed that, looked cool.
    Gilly
    The website for the Lone Star Flight Museum:
    http://www.lsfm.org/

    Damage report article...the static displays and all the stuff in glass cases ....flooded....very sad
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...n/6028699.html

    The Balinese had finally been brought back to some form of life a few years ago with several small vendors renting space. The restraunt had been closed for years,I recall feeling the building roll with the waves in the early 80's...figured most of the pilings were just sitting on top of the seabed even then. Frank Sinatras & companies ghosts floated away this time!
    Steve Henson
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    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  15. #15
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Seeing this fly overhead on weekends just made your heart pound, never flew on it, maybe before I say goodbye to the island,I'll do just that. It used to make a u-turn above our subdivision regularly at a decently low altitude...you could hear and feel it

    http://www.lsfm.org/b17flyingfortressbomber.html
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

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