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Posts Tagged ‘Galveston’

Beth sure is right, yikes is all I can say for the residents facing the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. Many of you may be sick to death of all my hurricane talk around here, but mother nature truly is an awesome force to be reckoned with and I simply cannot resist documenting her destruction, along with some history.

Storms have always fascinated me. Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, lightening, earthquakes, volcanoes…you name it…and I am glued for hours to the television. You can imagine my joy when I was offered a course in college called “Natural and Man-made Disasters”. It covered all of the above and more. I learned so much in this one little class, that it spurred my desire to change my minor from history to geography and to wish my actual major was in geography. At the time, it was way too late in the game to do that. And so, my minor became all things topographical, cultural, and historical. That’s the thing about geography it covers everything. It’s a wonderful subject and major that is often overlooked.

One of the topics we had covered, obviously had been hurricanes. Hurricanes were a huge deal since ODU was located in Norfolk, which is barely above sea level and is a major U.S. port. Therefore, our professor (Freebird as we called him) assigned us to read the book, Issac’s Storm by Eric Larson. This is the 1900 storm that devastated Galveston, Texas killing over 6,000 people because the United States choose not to heed Cuba’s warnings of the approaching Category 5 storm. (-Which in retrospect, the storm’s category is actually unknown since wind and surge instruments and other meterologist tools were just beginning to be invented. It may have been more of a Category 3.) However, this very storm is what prompted the city to build a seawall. Up until Ike, this seawall had been good at protecting its citizens. For more on Isaac’s storm and to view a few pictures, visit this link.

Both this story and Ike, remind me of my days living in Houston and how on the weekends, I would visit Galveston pier. It prompted a search for an old picture of me fishing off the pier at Galveston Islands. (where I accidentally hooked a stingray and couldn’t catch anything more than baby shark.) My interest in this picture is that this pier I am pictured on has a large hotel sitting out on it about 1000 feet from the main road- (Seawall Blvd.)

I remember thinking to myself, one day that thing isn’t going to be there. I also remember being amazed as I realized how vast the sea really was. (Even though, I frequented the beaches of the east coast since a child, I never fully realized how big fish could get or how powerful hurricanes really were. I was a naive soul back then.) Anyway, here is a picture of the Flagship Hotel minus me. This is a video of the Seawall Blvd. and the Pier yesterday before even making landfall. Look how high the surge is and the Ike was still some 9 hours away! I wonder if it has survived. As I search the Internet today, I will keep you posted.

Although, I doubt that many folks have lost their lives because of modern inventions, I do fear there will be a death toll since only 60% of the Galveston residences actually evacuated- leaving nearly 20,000 or so brave souls to weather Ike’s impact alone.

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