Friday, January 30, 2009

Galveston Revisited

My history and life are tied to the destiny of Galveston. Simply because I love the water and that was the closest place to go for 34 years of my life and my kid's lives. Sitting on the shore looking out over the water at the horizon, there wasn't a problem that couldn't be solved or a decision made - it was so easy, at the beach. Every chance we had, that's where we headed.

I returned there in November, mainly to see my dear friends Vandy and Sue and to see what devastation and loss they had suffered and what it was going to take to bring their lives back to what they were before - OMG, I was shocked and devastated at what I saw. No, everything looks wonderful in this shot looking out to the horizon
BUT, when you turned around, it was devastation everywhere. Debris like water heaters, car parts, street lights and whole sides of houses littered the ground, the ditches and the sides of the road. Sue and Vandy kept saying "it looked so much better" and I thought, "How can that be?"

It has now been 3 1/2 months since Hurricane Ike hit - Sept 13th and they have yet to be able to start rebuilding their home! The insurance company hasn't settled, the permits haven't been issued and it goes on and on - a duplicate of the fiasco of New Orleans.

The house in the photo above will have to be torn down as will hundreds of homes since the tide line has moved inland about 100 to 500 ft. (I'm not sure if that is an accurate number). Let me put it this way - four rows of houses are gone on the west end of Galveston due to erosion and the storm surge, not to mention the next row or two that will be mowed down because of state law.
This shot of a cleared beach is where row upon row of houses once stood. Unbelieveable. The loss to the economy, to the psyche of the people and to the heritage of Galveston is immeasureable. Two of my favorite places on earth, New Orleans and Galveston have been changed forever.
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Cynthia said...

It may be that Ike will bring Galveston casino gambling. Many who have opposed this option in the past, now see it as a way to bring jobs and tax dollars to the city.

Babs said...

Well Cynthia IF that happens it will mean that Ike played right into the hands of Tillman who has been trying to get gambling in Galveston for at least 10 years or longer!
I have mixed emotions about that. said...

Yep, I have mixed thoughts about that, too. I'd rather see UTMB back on its feet again with state funding. The need for doctors is huge and the island needs a good hospital.