Surfside & Galveston Damage

Saturday, December 20, 2008

After Goose Island State Park, we drove straight through to Freeport, Surfside Beach, and Galveston to check out the damage. It got progressively worse the further northeast we traveled up the coastline. This is all from Surfside.

This used to be a front row beach house. Note all the displaced sand.

To the left, a lot of houses are still standing. They were all damanged though. On the right used to be the first row of beach houses. Several are gone. Plus, you can tell there is debris everywhere, and a ton of displaced sand.

Other than the houses that had fallen off the face of the planet, this was some of the worst damage we saw in Surfside.

If you've been to Surfside, you probably recognize those four A-framed houses. They lost a lot of siding, but seem to have come out OK.

This is a good illustration of the sand displacement. That bridge used to take you over a sand dune to the beach. Now, it's all flat and you can just walk across.

If you're still not sure what the big deal is about the sand displacement, here is Bluewater Hwy, the road that runs along the coast from Surfside to Galveston. The road is "closed" but you can still travel is, you just have to be really careful. And there is a detour onto the beach at one point.

I don't know for sure that this is what happened, but it's a good theory. The storm surge came in and flooded everything, then as it receded, it took all the sand with it out from under Bluewater Hwy, causing it to collapse. Also, I don't have a good picture of it, but there is now beachy sand on the other side of the highway. The storm completely changed the geography of the area. Dang...we're talking, time-to-revise-the-topography-map changes. I always thought about the damage to structures in a hurricane, but never considered the damage to the land.

Leaning house of Surfside! (Or Jamaica Beach, or whatever small town we were in)

Probably the worst section of Bluewater Highway. You can see in the middle where you have to leave the road and drive on the beach. This picture was taken from the beach.

Galveston State Park was pretty torn up. The bathrooms all looked like they'd been picked up and thrown back down. About half of the picnic tables were badly damaged. Looks like they are planning a "new park"...wonder what all that is about.

We booked the San Luis Resort for $100 that night. Woohoo! That is a great deal. Those rooms run about $500 during the summer. It's definitely the nicest hotel on the island. This is the view from our room. There were a ton of displaced residents that were staying there courtesy of FEMA. I have mixed feelings about that...on one hand, I guess if I lost my house and the govt. would pay for me to stay in a nice hotel like that, it'd be a nice light at the end of the tunnel. Then again, really? The government pays for the San Luis Resort? Seemed odd, but whatever.

This picture represents typical damage. Damaged roofs, displaced sand, and debris piles. Not quite as dramatic as seeing entire towns wiped out, like on the Bolivar Peninsula, but still, a good example of how long it takes a place to recover from a hurricane, even if the destruction isn't total. It's been three months since Ike.

My house seemed to make it out OK! Just missing a few Spanish roof tiles!

You probably recognize this RV park if you've driven down Bluewater Hwy before. Not much left to it.

The Flagship Hotel in Galveston. You can see the road that leads to the hotel was destroyed, and part of the Flagship's wall was ripped off.

Murdoch's gift shop. Went there with my parents and Danyelle and her family summer before last. And now it's totally destroyed. Weird.

Here is what's left of the Galveston Hooters.

We thought about heading to the Bolivar peninsula, but I felt a little tacky going somewhere just to gawk. I have lots of memories in Galveston. And it was operating fine and will recover, but still, it was eerie seeing it with all that storm damage.
And this was the last leg of our trip! We drove home Monday afternoon and the freezing rain started accumulating on our windshield about 90 miles south of Dallas. It was a terrible drive home from there. Traffic everywhere, ice on the bridges, and when we got close to home, there was one steep bridge that people were struggling to drive up (not us with 4 wheel drive though!), so even though we were only 15 miles from home, this part of the drive added almost 2 hours to the trip. :-S
But it's all just a memory now, and we've shifted into Christmas mode. Again, have a great weekend! I'm done.


Marilyn Sue said...

My guess is there are more people displaced than there are places to put them and that is why they placed at a resort. Everywhere is tiresome when all you want to be is home . . .

Do you think the media has accuarately shown the damage?

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