Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Reality Bites.... The Portrait of A City In The Aftermath of A Hurricane

The news out of Galveston continues to get worse. Our friends who were living there also still have their home here in West Texas, so of course, they are not homeless. However, they own two beach houses right on the beach and they will not know for a while about the fate of those two houses. Several years ago, the pair decided they would retire down in Galveston. Retirement not being as fun as they thought, forced them to decide they would also keep their home here in our town. As it turns out, that was a wise decision. So, they are here, safe and sound.

However, Galveston is actually a very poor town, on the whole. I'd venture to say that most towns who depend on tourism, are poor, when all of the bright lights of *The Season* go out. Aspen was like that in many ways. The people who really live there, not just those passing through, are just hard working folks who are not wealthy. Galveston is like that as well. There are many small towns and cities located down by the Gulf Coast that are poor towns, which is why it makes this damage done by *IKE*, worse than it would be elsewhere.

I'm not talking about the people who own the beach houses. I'm talking about the people who build them, clean them, rent them out, and protect them. I'm talking about all of the people who work in the hundreds of restaurants and hotels, the grocery stores, the souvenir shops, etc. These people aren't wealthy and were probably just able to make ends meet before the hurricane. Now, they have lost their homes and their jobs and most of their belongings, with no hope of help on the horizon. How depressing is that?

Our friends have a beautiful home here and had furnished both beach houses with excess items from home, buying other things at places around Houston and Galveston. So, they will not lose anything too valuable if the state decides to take down their beach houses. The state has laws about homes being built too close to the water. So, with each tropical storm and each hurricane, they have seen many houses go by the wayside, that weren't destroyed in the storm, just too close to the beach after the storm. Even the burms were wiped out along with all other vegetation. It's all covered in sand now.

It's not going to be any fun getting there, either. Here's a video of what it's already like with prople trying to get back into Galveston:

You see, every time there is a hurricane or a tropical storm, it takes sand away from the beaches. So, you have to realize that our coastline is receding with every single storm and this is not a good thing. Not. At. All.

Yesterday I donated money to the American Red Cross, because they're going to need all the help they can get. This is going to be a long, nasty process, I'm afraid.

If you want to make a donation, you can go here:


Mental P Mama said...

Snooty, I have been following it up here, too, and I cannot believe how barren the island looks. Like an atomic bomb went off...and the folks without insurance... I keep having visions of Katrina's aftermath, and how NOLA still has so far to go, that is if it ever comes back to it's glory. So sad. But happy your friends are safe and sound.

scargosun said...

It's rough. When I lived in NC during Fran and Bertha ('96 I think) I remember what the beaches and homes looked like afterwards and it was not nearly as bad as Ike.

Snooty Primadona said...

I know. It just looks horrifying, doesn't it? The news people keep talking about the "toxic soup" which is the wet goopy stuff that contains all kinds of chemicals from under people's kitchen sinks & in their garages. A factor I had not thought about before.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Thank you for posting about Galvestone. I am so frustrated that our only American news station we get over here just talks about the campaign. It's as if Ike never happened.

Insane Mama said...

I just can't get over the fact that the news around here is focusing on Hollywood and celebrities. Thanks for posting this. I have yet to get in contact with my houston friends, but I am assuming they are OK.
By the way. Got for a fart machine :)

Asthmagirl said...

The pictures do look bad. While I know the next few years will be very difficult, I still believe Galveston will be rebuilt in some form. Costal areas are a natural draw, and redevelopment is inevitable.
I continue to hope that your friends homes still stand.

noble pig said...

I think I would go insane not knowing if the house is alright. I mean, I would. It's a hard life for many right now and I hope their relief can be seen on the horizon.

Snooty Primadona said...

Actually, they have seen both houses, as have I on some video shot by the Houston news station. The beach hubby is going down with his daughter's hubby who is an architect & excellent carpenter to board up windows if they have to, but they have to be out by 6 PM curfew. So, who knows if they will get into the west side.

Well, nevermind. I just heard on the news that mayor decided to not let people in briefly after all. Mainly because the workers who need to get in, can't because of the traffic.

brneyedgal967 said...

I don't hear shit about Galveston on the news channels in Oklahoma. Nada. If it wasn't for the KHOU link and your blog - I'd be clueless. Well, not like that is anything new.

QueenofPlanetHotflash said...

Such a terrible tragedy for families to go through, the place looks so aweful. I donated to Red Cross also. Its a helpless feeling on this end. I can't imagine the feelings of those whose lives have been destroyed by this catastrophe.

Janie said...

I can't even imagine how bad it is. Not only the houses, but the businesses.

Last time I was there, I stayed at the hotel by the Deep Star offshore training rig, which is also a museum. Do you know if the houses/businesses on the Strand made it through the storm? Right across the bay were several oilfield businesses, one of which was Halliburton, my old employer. They all had a pod of dolphins that hung around. The people at Landrys and Halliburton fed them every day.

All of my memories of Galveston are good. I can't imagine it the way I've seen it lately.

Snooty Primadona said...

The Strand was really badly flooded, up to most second floors and some third floors. Everything is covered in sand and the toxic soup mix with chemicals. I'm going to start limiting myself to how much I watch, because it's making me sick to my stomach.


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