Eric and I returned to Galveston this past weekend for our first anniversary
celebration. This was our first trip back to the island since it was hit by
devastating Hurricane Ike in Sept. 2008. I have to give them credit –
Galvestonians are a hearty and resilient group. The beaches were full and many
businesses were open, just as though Ike had never hit. All the businesses that
were built on piers out in the Gulf were gone, so that was a bit unsettling to see. I'm not sure if they will be permitted to rebuild.
Once we left the seawall, the hurricane damage became more apparent. Many homes
were still being repaired, while others had "for sale as is" signs on them. A
number of the businesses we patronized have apparently closed up shop for good, as there
were either "for lease" or "for sale" signs on the spaces that they had
occupied. We spoke to the owner of our fav Mexican breakfast stop, The Taco
House on Broadway, and asked her about the extent of the damage to her
restaurant. She told us that they had 5 feet of water in the restaurant and had
lost everything. They had just reopened in June, but it had been a long, arduous
process, with the gutting of the building; replacing fixtures, furniture, and equipment; dealing with insurance hassles; and going through the inspection process to get certified by the health dept. to reopen. Quite
frankly, I'm not sure I would have had the fortitude to continue.
Saddest of all to see were all the seemingly dead trees (oaks, perhaps?) along
Broadway and Postoffice streets. I think there's a wait-and-see game being
played here to determine if the trees are truly dead or if they are still in
shock from the salt water bath they received and need time to have the salt
flushed out of their systems.
One thing I know for sure is that after Ike, I've lost my desire to live near
the coastline. Eric loves Ohio, and up until now I've never liked the prospect
of living in a landlocked state. Places like Ohio are looking more and more
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