Hurricane Ike

beachplant(9b)November 10, 2008

The broms took a terrible beating. We had 4' of salt water in the yard for 24-36 hours. We had taken down all the plants to prevent them from blowing away. Noone ever expected salt flooding, my neighborhood hasn't flooded since 1900. All but the queens tears, fingernail and a couple of other common ones are dead. Every single variegated of any variety is gone. Superfireball survived, it was in a pot attached to the fence, fireball just underneath it, dead. All my big specimens in the garden, dead. Some I think even floated off! All the tillands dead. It might have helped if we could have gotten to them and flushed out the salt and debris but the city wouldn't let any residents back of the island for 2 weeks.

The island is primarily brown right now. Almost all the oleanders took a terrible beating and a lot are dead or dying. The city and state are trying to save the oaks on Broadway-they were planted after the city was raised after the 1900 storm. Palms did fine. Magnolias-lots of dead ones. Every avocado that I now about is dead. All the rare fruit trees died. Most of the citrus did OK. Annuals and a lot of perennials are also dead.

The hospital remains closed and they may lay off about 4,000 people and close about 3/4 of the beds. The city is laying off people. A lot of business' are closed and will not reopen-Blockbuster, the Yacht Club, restaurants, theatres, schools..... The island is a disaster zone & in some ways is getting worse. There are large areas without power. Only about 50% of the population has returned. 80% of homes were damaged, there are a lot that are just gone. The end of the Seawall collapsed.

Tally HO!

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Wow, that's really sad, Tally. I wonder if Galveston will ever recover?

Interesting to hear which things made it and which didn't, though. Not too many plants like being submerged in sea water for very long.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 12:57PM
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In 2005, south Florida and the Keys had a storm surge from Hurricane Wilma. Our property in the Keys had a surge of about 4 feet. All of the broms died except the xAndroleachmea O'Rourke. The mother plant died but a few pups sprouted and survived. What was unusual was alot of the native salt-tolerant plants also died but not all of the tropicals, i.e. hibiscus and traveler's palm.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 3:57PM
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Oh dear! Thanks for that devastating very sad.
After reading that, I will never complain about a 30-year black frost again.

Best of luck rebuilding the island. I hope the remaining residents will see a light at the end of the salty tunnel.

Will you remain and start over?


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 4:56PM
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Beach I feel your pain...IKE was B**ch...14 to 20 foot surge took a toll and FEMA can go to ....the next hurricane and do they have here(useless bunch).
Maybe this rain for 4 days will wash away some of teh salt...atleast help some grass regrow..not having rain all this time helped those who had no homes or roofs...not so good to flush the salt.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 6:08PM
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Very sorry to here about your plight and the state of affairs of the island. Sounds like the sea walls need to be repaired and designed to keep out that surge, just hope a change in your President will see some fast action.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 6:18PM
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Jaga the storm was a 100 year one ..I doubt a seawall could be built that will take that kinda punishment and not take away a tourist attraction...the beach...And since our current President is from here...I dont think changing presidents will do much with the world economy in the toilet.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 6:49PM
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The State of Texas can figure it out. Don't need the feds involved.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 11:06PM
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bambi_too(5 Ohio)

Beachplant, e-mail me when you are ready to start over and I'll send you some plants.

My friend Donald lived in Bridge City, he got lucky this time, his house was damaged beyond repair. He was still fighting with the insurance companies from the last hurricane. He is not going to rebuild there, but is going to take whatever he can get for the damages and move inland, there is some talk that the government may not let some areas be rebuilt.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 7:38AM
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Most of the residents are just rebuilding. We aren't waiting on the city, FEMA, the insurance companies or anyone else. There are a bunch of faith based groups down here and they have been amazing! The Mormons were just going door to door, they carried out furniture, drug out sheetrock, hauled away trees, took out appliances...there are other groups cutting trees, fixing fences, putting up sheetrock. They are giving out food, supplies, clothing, cooking meals. The RedCross and Salvation Army have left. The Baptist mens group is here with hot showers and laundry facilities. They are set up in one of the churches that had a lot of damage. Things are getting better but so much is getting worse.

And I am amazed at what survived. The bouganvillas are blooming like crazy, though of course some are dead. The oleanders which are pretty tolerant are in pitiful shape, a lot of dead ones. Palms if they didn't fall down did fine. Trees-uugghh! The mulberry has leafed back out and so has the pecan. All the crape myrtles around town look dead. Avocadoes are all dead. Oaks are in trouble and so are the magnolias.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 11:08AM
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Beach if there is anything you need I will try to help

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 12:42PM
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Hi Beachplant - So sorry to read your depressing report.

It sounds just like a war zone. The good news however is that you're alright and at least you have some good people in voluntary organizations willing to lend a hand.

Considering the damage, probably a good way for you to go would be to sow some brom seed. That way they wouldn't take much space, time, or take you away from the other more pressing work you need to do. It would help maintain your interest and by the time they get up a bit in size you should have most of your re-building done and ready to start again, albiet from a clean slate.

Keep your chin up and remember there is always a little light at the end of the tunnel.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 1:26PM
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