Hurricane Ike: September 2008 Archives

IBC Recovery Cookout

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Islander by Choice will be hosting an "IBC recovery cookout" at the Nautical Antiques & Decor parking lot (621 23rd street - 23rd & Winnie) this Saturday, October 4th.  We will be cooking brisket and would like to invite all Islanders - business owners, residents, visitors, whomever - to come by for a visit to have a bite, a beer, share stories, recovery ideas, things we've learned that might help each other with the rebuilding process, etc...
We'll provide the brisket and if you'd like to have a plate, please bring a dish to share (chips, pie, rack of lamb - whatever!) so we can be sure to have enough for everyone. If you'd like a drink (adult beverages welcomed, scratch that - encouraged!), please bring it with you.
Looking forward to visiting with everyone and hopefully helping give a little boost of encouragement for all of us who have been - and will continue to be - Islanders by Choice.  See you there!

Seawall Drive - Post Ike

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Post Ike Info

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Lots of great post-Ike information. Click the link below for full info.
I've wanted to write something since the storm hit.  I simply haven't felt the right moment or found the right way to say what I needed to.  Until today. Almost 2 weeks after Ike turned the Island into a salty saloon.  Ike did this to the Island I love. He did it to the Island you love.  And to the Island so many people love. And call home.

It hit me today.  Thursday.  September 25, 2008.  I went by the now "famous" Culpepper's shop to see what remained.  I found a great deal of emotion as I shook Will's hand hello.  He had just the day before dug through his own home in order to find remains to salvage.  However, he proved high spirits with a home made "I Don't Like Ike" T-shirt he had scribbled with black marker.  He never ceases to amaze me.  He breathes calmness into a brutal situation.  Mikie's brothers Dave and Joe were there also with rewarding grins courtesy of proper southern charm.  Soon to be immortal heroes of the day, the brothers were no doubt struggling with the idea of leaving tomorrow, ending a trip they made to help out their brother and sister-in-law.  Ending a trip that probably seems all worth while, however, it obviously reeks of bittersweet.  Mikie and Adrienne were absent, tending to their home with an insurance adjuster.  I've grown forever closer to them since we spent nearly a week together at my parent's house in Victoria.  I still can't express my thoughts and feelings for them.  Not yet.

So.  It was this visit to Nautical Antiques and Décor that got me going.  A visit I've made many times in the almost 3 years Lauren and I have lived on the Island.  But I know that my visits will never be the same.  My visits everywhere on the Island will never be the same.  It will all be different.  I'm not weepy.  I am poised.  At the same time.  I'm tense.  I'm gooey inside.  Not solid.  (And no Adrienne.  I'm not meaning in the bathroom sort of a way.)  It pangs me to see so many people I care about lose so much.  I know things are only things, but it still hurts.  It doesn't make sense yet in my head why some people made out with less disaster and others lost most of their belongings.  Then again, it's mother nature, and she rarely makes sense.

I'm remembering the people who stayed behind that I deeply care about.  Jeff and Kathy Modzelewski; Richard Abston; Clyde Wood.  All worthy of praise for sticking through the night and the fierce howls and shrieks Ike brought with him.

I also want to say something about my parents and my in-laws.  They took myself and Lauren in and eventually along with the "famous" Culpeppers.  They also welcomed the zoo/wild kingdom that comes along with us.  Four dogs and two cats.  Not to mention my parents have their own dog and Lauren's parents have two dogs of their own.  Neither set of parents thought twice.  They were there to establish whatever refugee camp we needed, and for as many people as we brought or were willing to follow us there.  They too may call themselves Ike survivors.  Weathering a different kind of storm and aftermath.  It makes me tingle inside to call them my parents.

And Lauren.  Or Mrs. Mondo.  She still amazes me.  She had her initial breakdowns, as we all did, or should have had.  However, she rebounded and took control of IBC central.  Her own form of an emergency operation center.  It started at her parents' place in Kosse until we lost power.  She picked it right up in Victoria, eventually getting everyone who needed information to jump to this website.  She is a rock star.  She is my best friend.  And she is as stand up a person as a human can be.  She couldn't stand up better if she had four legs.  I love her more than should be allowed by law.

I guess this all sums up the feelings that drip from my mangled heart.  I'm scared.  I'm happy.  I have feelings of guilt.  I feel like I really love a lot of different people right now.  I know these feelings will wilt away as they come back down to earth and the newness of the situation wears off.  But for what it's worth at this moment, they're real.

I don't want to say the cliché thing that the Island will rebuild and it will be better than ever.  I just want to say that we will survive.  We will exist on this Island until WE choose not to.  In truth.  We are Islanders By Choice.

Photos Added

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We're starting to upload photos to our Flickr account as we can. Right now since I'm the only one with the working laptop you all get to put up with me. We'll have more peoples pictures up soon though.

You can click on the image to the right for our photos or access them here.

Balinese Room - 9/11/2008

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The night before Ike hit, I went over to meet friends at the Prizer's to have some BBQ and talk about the upcoming storm. On the way I decided to stop on the seawall and get video of the waves and Balinese room. Not particularly for any reason at all, just because I had my video camera in the car and figured "why not."

The end of the video shows a guy riding his bicycle down the street. That one moment reminds me so much of what is so great about the island.

IBC Galveston - Balinese Room 9/11/2008 from Will Wright on Vimeo.

Boats Over Broadway

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The man living next door just walked out wearing khaki's, a nice blue shirt and penny loafers. Any other Wednesday morning and that wouldn't have been anything to notice. Today though...Today I'm sitting on the front porch of Mikie and Adrienne's house and the scene is, of course, anything but a normal Wednesday morning.

I had taken Highway 6 yesterday hoping to get around the majority of traffic that was on 45 and to also give me a better chance of getting on the island a day ahead of the Wednesday announced opening of the island. Thankfully both worked just as planned.

About 20 miles from Galveston I started to see the first signs of the damage. Trash. It was everywhere. Paint had peeled off of the Jack in the Box, billboards were torn apart and traffic lights were either completely gone or hanging, left inoperable. In areas of the country that get heavy amounts of snowfall, they install fence line that collects the snowdrifts and moves it away from highways, buildings, etc. Down here there's a tree line instead of the snow fence.

I had seen the pictures of boats over Broadway, building damage, etc. and although the majority of the boats and debris has been removed from entering Galveston, it's not entirely gone. A few boats still lay in the slow lane and there is plenty of debris still left. Streets are lined with trash heaps for those who have made it home (the majority of which have not) and the major population of the island are contractors and utility workers.

The trees and grass all around town are turning a dark brown. The effects of the seawater getting on the trees. It lends itself to a feeling of fall or early winter, but without the cool temperatures expected. It's a little disconcerting to view, kind of like mother natures pulling one over on us.

I'm staying with my very good friends here on the island and there's no where else I'd rather be. Driving up to their shop yesterday wasn't too terribly different than any other day. My friends were happy to see me and the feeling was definitely mutual. Jane plays with their dogs, we sit around and laugh and eat dinner together and enjoy each others company. Aside from the hum of generators and lack of utilities it's not all too far removed in principal from a night a few weeks ago when we all got together to do much of the same thing.

They let people back on the island this morning. Mikie's brother and I were talking last night and both felt people would be shocked when getting here. The media has put the word out to warn people that it's a far different place now, and I hope they've listened. There's no power, no gas, and the water isn't drinkable and I don't think that's going to change for while.

Today we go to my house to salvage / trash and then back to the shop to work on that. I have so many people asking me how things are, what's going on, etc. and I'll keep everyone updated on at least my perspective here. Comments and questions from the peanut gallery are always encouraged.

In closing I'll say this (and more of this theme will become apparent in the future I'm sure). I'm proud to call Galveston my home. I'm proud to be here and able to lend a helping hand to friends and the community and I look forward to challenges that come (aside from going in my house this morning, in no way am I looking forward to that).

Galveston article in Houston Chronicle with quotes from Islanders:


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Check out the link below to see Adrienne and Michael Culpepper working on getting their house cleaned up after Hurricane Ike. Mikie's brothers are in a few shots too; Joe and Dave.

Wow!! The pictures are in a slideshow, and the link should take you to their first picture. There are other Galveston pics in the slideshow as well of friends and neighbors. (copy and paste entire link to your address bar)

As of Sunday morning, their pictures start at #36. Click here to view photos.


Residents must show ID with Galveston address,or business owners need proof of owning a business on the Island. These credentials will be checked at all checkpoints upon re-entry.  Also, all Islanders returning will receive information on current conditions in Galveston.

Residents and business owners need to be advised that limited utilities have been re-established behind the Seawall, therefore, after an assesment of property, it is up to the resident or business owner to decide whether or not to stay or leave the Island. Keep in mind the strict curfew will be enforced from 6pm to 6am.  Violators are subject to a $2,000 fine.

Residents and business owners not behind the Seawall should expect no utilities, therefore, a look and leave policy will be in effect.

There are NO medical services on the Island. Also limited grocery stores, auto repairs shops, pharmacies, gas stations, and access to bottled water.

A boil water order is in effect.

There is a mandated water conservation policy in effect until further notice.

There continues to be limited cell phone coverage.

All intersections need to be treated as 4 way stops.  Please watch for all drivers, bike riders, and pedestrians.  Also please watch for debris.

Here is a list, not all inclusive, of materials residents and business owners may need upon re-entry (we also posted a list earlier on our site):

bottled water



first aid kits

hand tools

hand sanitizer

bug repellent

gloves - rubber and work



non-perishable food items


garbage bags

All beaches and waters will continue to be closed until further notice. Also, keep in mind there continues to be an extreme health risk on the island.

Please be very careful upon returning to the Island. Good luck to everyone and hope to see you soon as we rebuild our Island.


Residents must show ID with Galveston address,or business owners need proof of owning a business on the Island. These credentials will be checked at all checkpoints upon re-entry.  Also, all Islanders returning will receive information on current conditions in Galveston.

Residents and business owners need to be advised that limited utilities have been re-established behind the Seawall, therefore, after an assesment of property, it is up to the resident or business owner to decide whether or not to stay or leave the Island. Keep in mind the strict curfew will be enforced from 6pm to 6am.  Violators are subject to a $2,000 fine.

Residents and business owners not behind the Seawall should expect no utilities, therefore, a look and leave policy will be in effect.

There are NO medical services on the Island. Also limited grocery stores, auto repairs shops, pharmacies, gas stations, and access to bottled water.

A boil water order is in effect.

There is a mandated water conservation policy in effect until further notice.

There continues to be limited cell phone coverage.

All intersections need to be treated as 4 way stops.  Please watch for all drivers, bike riders, and pedestrians.  Also please watch for debris.

Here is a list, not all inclusive, of materials residents and business owners may need upon re-entry (we also posted a list earlier on our site):

bottled water



first aid kits

hand tools

hand sanitizer

bug repellent

gloves - rubber and work



non-perishable food items


garbage bags


All beaches and waters will continue to be closed until further notice. Also, keep in mind there continues to be an extreme health risk on the island.

Please be very careful upon returning to the Island. Good luck to everyone and hope to see you soon as we rebuild our Island.

Good article today on what we need to keep in mind when we get back to the Island (please, soon):

Just a little FYI

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Got this as an email forward from our great friends & Islanders - JMo & KMo - AKA Jeff and Kathy Modzelewski:

Good Afternoon

Due to Hurricane Ike and its aftermath, the Galveston Causeway Ribbon Cutting Ceremony planned for Saturday, September 20th, has been canceled.

Once a new date has been scheduled I will let you know.

Our prayers are with you and your city as well as all those affected by Hurricane Ike.

Thank You.

Deidrea Samuels
Public Information Officer
Public Information

Galveston Mail Service

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Got to for the full press release:

All of the mail destined to Galveston is securely staged in the North Houston Processing and Distribution Center where it is safe and untouched by the effects of Hurricane Ike.  The USPS is rapidly finalizing a temporary location near Galveston Island, most likely in Texas City or La Marque.  This temporary facility will be ready to provide mail to Galveston residents by Thursday, September 25th
We will announce this location and the date that customers can start picking up your mail there once the location lease is signed this week. 
If customers have permanently relocated or will be at a temporary location for an extended time, the Postal Service will forward your mail to the new address if you submit a change of address form.  Customers may file a Change of Address (COA) on line at, at the nearest Post Office or by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). COA cards will be made available to all shelters.
The USPS has made special arrangements to Galveston residents only to pick up their mail on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 19, 20, 22 and 23 respectively, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at a window set aside for this purpose at the North Houston Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) located at 4600 Aldine Bender Road east of JFK Blvd.

Hello to all!

I got an email from Tom Schwenk, Galveston Historical Foundation's Board President.  GHF needs volunteers for help with Galveston's historic properties.  The information is below.  If you or anyone you know is in the Houston area and is able and willing, please call the numbers below to join GHF volunteers in saving these important Galveston and Texas treasures.

For those who would like to make a donation please visit

The GHF crew has been down on the Island the past two days cleaning and remediating some of our state's most important historic properties.  For the status of these important Galveston & Texas properties, please see our blog entry on GHF's Historic properties.

From us at IBC, thanks to all of you for all you have done and we will do together as we rebuild our Island.

Tom's Email
Hi Everyone,
Many have called asking how they can help if they cannot get on the island. Good news! GHF has secured a  van that will pick up volunteers every morning at 7:00 o'clock and will drop you off between 5:00 and 5:30 in the evening. There is room for 8 volunteers each day.
The van will pick up  volunteers at exit 20 on I-45 at the Taco Cabana parking lot. 
2895 Gulf Freeway South.
If you are in the Houston area and would like to volunteer, you need:
1.    A tetanus shot (CVS and Randall's are giving them for free)
2.    Work Gloves
3.    Work Boots
4.    Masks
Please bring a couple of bottles of water and a sandwich as the services in Galveston as you know are non-existent.
If you are staying in the Houston Area  it would be great if you could volunteer.
Because we are limited to 8 people a day please let me know call Tom Schwenk at (713)857-2309 ASAP  or call Julia Muncaster at (409) 789-1739
We need people for the upcoming days not just tomorrow and Sunday.

Per Press Conference at Noon

City Manager Steve LeBlanc said today at noon that it will be "seven days or sooner" before we Islanders can get back to the Island.  "We want to get you back as soon as possible."

LeBlanc went over a phased entry plan - NOT a "look and leave policy."  When we are told, it will be to come back for good.  It will be up to individuals if they want to stay in current conditions or find lodging off the Island to go back to until all is fully restored. 

Current Phased Re-entry that he reported is based on current services:

First Group - all those who live behind the Seawall as "this area is in the best shape."

Second Group - from the end of the Seawall to Jamaica Beach

Third Group - the far West End - from Jamaica Beach westward.

* All Residents will receive information sheet(s) on current conditions on the Island as they enter so they know current rules, regulations, and status of all utilities.  Residents are encouraged to prepare with items like water, cleaning supplies, etc. for return (check out our list posted earlier today for a working list).  We may not have sewage fully operational when we get back.  Gas is in short supply - so far only one gas station has opened and has two pumps operational.  Also, there are no traffic lights operating on the Island and many street signs are missing.  So please keep this in mind.

Chief Wiley reported that no new cases of looting have been reported. He stated that he knows looting may have happened but it has not been reported.  One man was arrested last night because he was intoxicated and was waving a gun at a police officer.  Also, the Island has received reinforcements from DPS and other officers to patrol the streets to try to ease residents' concerns about property.  They have also taken steps to secure entry points on the water. 

Windstorm Insurance: If you are unable to get a hold of your insurance agent - Texas Windstorm Association folks will set up at Gulf Greyhound Park.  Or you can call 1-800-788-8247.  Also if you are not treated properly, you can contact the Texas Department of Insurance at 1-800-252-3439.

A fellow Islander sent this email to us, so I'm going to post it here for information on business and individual assistance.  Hope it helps - please note the 60 day registration window.


Hello to all!

This is Susan Moore at the Galveston County SBDC. My prayers are surrounding all of you who have sustained losses and are experiencing the stress of this overwhelming situation.  I would like to report that my personal home and those of my family who live in the area are fine with only superficial damage to fences and some major damage to trees.  Even so the shock and stress are enormous, as we feel tremendous empathy for everyone in this huge population base who has sustained the same or greater losses.

Once our most urgent needs are met, many of you will want to know about grants and loans from FEMA and the SBA.  There will be grants, loans and unemployment compensation for individuals, renters, homeowners and businesses.  Businesses will be able to apply for SBA direct loans for both physical damage and economic injury.  There are also mitigation loans which are for upgrading the physical property in order to avoid similar damage in the future.

The physical property where our SBDC is located is not damaged and we are open.  We will soon have a group of SBA loan officers stationed at our center to process applications for BUSINESS-related loans.  Loans for homeowners will likely be processed in a different processing center.  We will notify you once the loan processing center is open for business and how the process will work.  If your business sustained economic loss only, you will be eligible for an SBA loan only if you do not have adequate credit elsewhere to get you through the crisis.  However, there is also a program for disaster-related unemployment compensation which may provide you benefits as well.

We will have information about all of these programs here soon and will be showing the informational videos about the FEMA/SBA programs here in our classroom. 

If you can read this email, you probably can access the web sites where you can begin to find out about the programs and view the applications.  All applicants must first register within 60 days of the disaster at  Then, for loans from the SBA, go to to look at the programs and the application form.  For Disaster-related unemployment compensation, the web site to start the process is

This is the same form as for regular unemployment.  There is also a flyer about the Disaster-related unemployment on the same page, but those applying will have to fill out the regular unemployment form first and then continue to the Disaster-related section.  This unemployment compensation will be available to most business owners and others who are not ordinarily covered by Texas State unemployment.

Please pass this information along to your contacts who may not have access to the internet.

There is a large FEMA grant and loan processing center open now near Ellington Field on Old Galveston Road (Hwy.3) where individuals and homeowners can start their application processes.  We are attempting to get another center such as this one operating in Galveston County soon.

Due to lack of demand while everyone recovers, and because our classroom will soon be in use for disaster-related information and loan processing, all our SBDC regular classes will be cancelled until further notice.

We will update all of you when we have additional information and when we are open to start processing SBA disaster loans.  In the meanwhile if you have questions that we may be able to answer or if you would like to contact us with other types of business needs, please feel free to call at any time.

Please be safe,

Susan Moore


Galveston County Small Business Development Center


Here is a list of items that you most likely will need when we are able to go back to our Island.  This is not an exhaustive list, so if you see something missing - let us know (comment, post, email).  I don't know about all of you, but I'm going a bit stir-crazy, so I'm trying to be proactive.

Bottled water

Ice chests with ice

Food supplies



LOTS of rubber gloves

Work gloves

Bottles of Clorox

All major cleanup supplies

Trash bags

Foggers/Raid - we've heard that they are supposed to spraying for mosquitoes either today or tomorrow (fingers crossed)

Flea spray/bombs (we've heard we have a massive flea investation)

Generator (?)

Gas to run the generator


Extension cords

First Aid Kits

Safety glasses/goggles

Respirators - masks

buckets (for cleaning and mopping floors)


Damp-Rid - there are several versions of this for closets and other areas, it absorbs water fast so depending on the situation, you may want a lot of this.  We purchased some at Loew's. 

rubber boots

Tools for cutting out sheetrock, carpet, etc.

De-humidifier (?)

* Also, you probably want to get a Tetanus shot if you haven't had one recently.



Food Stamps Info.

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Slow day on information from the Island so far, but hope to be hearing some today. 

There was a text and Internet rumor that food stamps were available to all.  Folks who went to apply in San Antonio said that you will be required to register with the office when you are there and you must still qualify to receive food stamps.  If you go, please be sure to specify that you are there because of Hurricane Ike, otherwise you will be in line with other people not affected by the hurricane.

Any other news on properties or neighborhoods that any of you may have, please comment or post. 

More Neighborhood Reports

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Got another email in from a Silk Stocking neighbor with reports in this neighborhood and others.  Thanks for the report Lynn.

1813 24th St.  - No water in house, no broken windows, roof in damage in home.  House is about 3 feet up.  We appear to have had 18-24 inches of water in the garages and our guest  house.  Everything in the garage and guest house will probably be toast.  Yard is full of debris (8-12 inches deep) but large tree in front yard is still standing.  Concrete wall between our property and neighbors came down in storm, but picket fences still standing!
Friends in 1600 block of 24th St. - sub-basement flooded and garages flooded with close to 4 feet of water.  No water in house.....high raised probably 4 feet or more.
Friends in 1700 block of Rosenberg (25th) - no water in house....don't know anything else
My in-laws house at 50th and Crockett - no water in home - no damage at all.
Carnes Funeral Home on 23rd Street - we heard severely damaged with water - operating out of Texas City for now.
Looks like the city finally put some information up on their site.  Lots of good info there, as of this afternoon.

Other Island Icons Report

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Hi everyone - just got this email forwarded to us from a Lafitte Society Member who received this from the curator at the Brazoria County Historical Musuem.  Also, please look through our posts for other reports on other historic properties around the Island.

Galveston Arts Center: GAC suffered minor damage (a broken window and probably some water damage), but the building is still standing.

Galveston County Historical Museum: The museum is housed in the 1921 City National Bank Building. A floodwater line can be seen below the entrance to the first floor. Unless there is roof damage, the building is believed to be unharmed.


Lone Star Flight Museum: Damage is substantial. The hangars and Texas Aviation Hall of Fame had 7-8 feet of water. The gift shop and lobby area had 3-4 feet of water. The southwest side of both hangars may be compromised. The gift shop is a total loss. Every exhibit in the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame was destroyed, although some artifacts may be salvageable. The airplanes received major water damage although most remain in tact. All plumbing and electrical systems are inoperable. The roof is okay minus one skylight. The second floor appears to be untouched. All evacuated aircraft are ok.


Moody Gardens: Sea water did not breache the Aquarium Pyramid. Moody Gardens will remain closed until further notice to assess the damage.


Moody Mansion: The staff received reports that there was minimal damage to the outside of the building. The Mansion has 4 ft of water on the ground floor. The exhibit and the gift are gone. The reception room cornice over the fireplace has minimal damage.


Texas Seaport Museum at Pier 22: There was damage to the brick and wooden pier, with a suspected total loss to the wooden workshops used for maintenance of the Elissa. The museum itself, in the 1990 Jones Building, suffered little damage.


GHF is currently operating out the Preservation Texas offices in Austin. Once Island residents are allowed to return to Galveston, Galveston Historical Foundation will be setting up headquarters on the 2nd floor of the Custom House at 502 20th Street and will be providing consultation and assistance on remediation and preservation of historic resources.


Sources: Dwayne Jones; Alexandra Irvine, Lone Star Flight Museum Website; Mike Riley; Karen Guernsey



  September 18, 2008

The Grand remains closed due to Hurricane Ike damage
A Blog/Letter from Kathy Van Dewalli,
Marketing Director at The Grand
 Dear friends, patrons and supporters of The Grand -
   As most of you have probably surmised, The Grand is still not operational after Hurricane Ike. Galveston Island scored a direct hit from Ike and most of the Island suffered some type of damage (flood or structural). The island is still without power and clean-up efforts are just underway.

   I was fortunate enough to get on the island to view the damage to the theatre. Fortunately our Grand "gal" suffered no structural damage (at least viewable to the naked eye) but did suffer flooding in our street level (and basement level) areas. This includes (unfortunately) our backstage lower dressing rooms, the orchestra pit as well as some water damage to the first few rows of seats in the auditorium.

   The stage has some silt from water but our beautiful painted curtain (the "Staley curtain") as well as the other curtains, are all fine. The star dressing room backstage suffered some water damage as well but our "star" photos that line the room are all okay.

   The box office area, entry stairs and Edna's Room all withstood about 6 feet of water (add another two feet from curb to street!) and are wet and muddy - but will recover.

   The good news - all our records, (ticketing, patron records, historical records) are high and dry in our offices on the third floor. As soon as power is restored to the island we can communicate with our patrons through regular channels and let them know just when we will be back up and performing!

   As we were in the middle of renovation efforts when Ike hit - we fortunately had all the windows boarded up and they kept the building's upper levels safe and dry.  All of our lobby areas are free from damage. I guess it goes without saying that we will be postponing our season until the theatre has been cleaned and polished and free of Ike's visit. As soon as we can access our records, we will be contacting all our patrons and keeping them abreast of our plans.

   We will try to get information on our website.

   An update on The Grand's staff - I am very happy to report that all of our staff was able to evacuate the island and all are safe.

   I hope we can get back to our island soon - the sooner we can get back in and clear out our home - the more we can salvage. I know many, many wonderful folks are ready and willing to help us put our beautiful Island back in order.

-  Kathy Van Dewalli
   Marketing Director, The Grand 1894 Opera House

On-line Resources

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Hi guys,

This came through to me via another source - it originated with San Jacinto Neighborhood Association's President, Alan Kamen.  Some of these you may have, others you may not.

apply for fema assistance  

hold or change your mail delivery address

ongoing information, forums, pics, 

city announcements

Our Galveston Island online news source.  Free community bulletin board to post messages (no fee, no passwords needed)  updated information, and daily articles, freeway cameras (now working)

daily news paper online with daily articles 
Again, here's the satellite link again: 
post IKE satellite photos, can zoom in on your property

local weather satellite

Food Stamp Help:

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

According to Mayor Thomas & City Manager LeBlanc, "Look and Leave" is suspended - cancelled - not going to happen at all.  They are trying to completely open up the Island to all residents in 5 to 7 days.  Again check to see the live Press Conference - hopefully they'll have the video for replay also.


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Be sure to check the comments on each entry as they also contain information from other folks - check the comments section on the right. Thanks for commenting folks, and keep it going because you guys may have more information than we do. Also, we're waiting on more information regarding food stamps. Take care.

Galveston Schools Update

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Ok - here's an article in Galveston County Daily News.  Hopefully you're reading the paper online, but just in case, the link below describes damage to area schools.  It could help give you a bit more information if you or friends live near these schools:

Hey everybody - wanted to pass this forward.  I know this isn't the areas that have recently been asked about, but it's 15th & M.

San Jacinto/Lost Bayou area:

"I know you guys are sort of collecting information on houses.  My roommate was able to sneak onto the island today by mumbling something about UTMB and flashing her badge.  Anyway, my house at 15th and M, which is only 2-3 feet off the ground, got about 4-6 inches of water inside and the floors and rugs are damaged, but nothing else.  Windows, walls and roof intact.  There wasn't much about that neighborhood on your site so I though it might be helpful to some people."

Avenue S 1/2

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Any word on Avenue S 1/2? Around the 3800 block...

How is Q 1/2...?

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We have our home on 43rd & Q 1/2.....
Does anybody know how this area/street & its homes did as far as flooding, etc ?
Any info is obviously a plus..... God Bless us all !

Info. on this Site

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Real quick guys:  to read all entries on news on the Island, search either by Hurricane Ike (link should be on your right in menu) or just click on September 2008 on your right.  I just went back and made sure all of our entries are tagged so you can read them all in order if you like.

More Property Updates

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Residential Areas:

Word from Silk Stocking:  1213 25th Street has a water mark on the second step from the porch, so at this point it appears that it stayed dry.  A huge pecan tree in its back yard fell down into the alley behind and did not hit the house.  Their house is roughly 22 feet above sea level. (hey that's the report I got).

We're waiting on a report from the Kempner Park area.

In the East End Historic District, 15th and Postoffice, our friends reported roughly 3 to 4 ft. of water in their first floor.  Second floor looks great.  Their house is roughly 3 ft. from the ground. 

Other Areas:

3800 Block between R & R1/2: Friends reported that no water in the first floor - only in the ground floor - not a living area.  No other damage reported.

On businesses in the downtown area: Mikie and Adrienne's Nautical Antiques shop took on 6 feet of water inside and had a number of broken windows.  Their 250 lb. port hold window was lifted off of its hinges.  The shop is located at 23rd and Winnie - north of Broadway for those of you who are unfamiliar.

Antique Warehouse owned by our good friends, Scott & Holly, is located at 25th & Postoffice - next door to Maceo's Spice & Imports.  The Warehouse had roughly 8 to 9 feet of water inside and all windows broken out.

Frank Billingsley reported from The Strand: overall 6 feet of water in buildings. 

Again, thanks to our great friend and great Islander, Clyde Wood, Antique Warehouse has been boarded up.  Thanks also to Pete & Andrea Prizer - great Islanders too - for securing Nautical Antiques.  We're waiting on specifics before we report on Clyde's shop, The Witchery.

Look & Leave is still suspended indefinitely for now.  Hopefully we'll hear more soon.

* compiled from reports from those who rode out Ike and are still on the Island or from those who have made it on and reported back. 

1507 24th Street in Silk Stocking: no water line evident, windows appear fine (they were not boarded).  House sits roughly 2.5 feet from ground.  We may get more specific reports from this house or the area later today.

3412 O1/2 near Menard House and roughly 3 blocks from Samuel May Williams House (both structures reported as ok): no water in house, roof fine, windows fine.

Another report from Silk Stocking:  cottage on 24th Street between M & L is dry, no window damage, and roof is fine.  As with the other dry houses in Silk Stocking (search previous post on this neighborhood), AC, any insulation, etc. is either gones or was under water.  Report back from these folks is that Silk Stocking looks good.  They reported that traffic was very heavy coming onto the Island yesterday and that they had 2 to 3 feet of debris in the yard and a fish in the backyard.

Report from Kempner Park (I know, it's a huge area):   Area around 3212 O:

"looks good. There doesn't seem to be much damage.  Appears to have been a fire in a garage behind the yellow house on the corner of 32nd and O, but it didn't
affect any other structures other than the garage. Unfortunately at 3212 O, which seems to have had the most damage of any house in the neighborhood, we lost a magnolia tree in front and a pecan tree in back, both of which landed on our house and caused a lot of damage to
the roof, porches and yard. No water got into the house (rising or rain driven), though, so we are thankful for that. There had been water in the garage for a time and everything in there seems to have floated around for a bit, but it has receded and he could see no
structural damage."

Stores: We also just got a report that Home Depot is open, the Conoco on 35th & Seawall is open although only selling food - no gas.  HEB trucks have been spotted coming on to the Island and hopes are it will open soon.  Also, word on the street on the Island is that Kroger's and Wal-Mart may be opening in the next couple of days.

More reports on the way.


Overall this press conference covered health and medical issues.  Generally, there is still no water (we have heard reports counter to this from folks on the Island), no sewage, power, etc.  They are still urging folks who have stayed to leave due to what is becoming a potential health crisis.  They are still evacuating people from the Island and surrounding areas who want to evacuate.  No word or information if there are any options for any kind of enforced evacuation.  Also no word if they are or ever have discussed this option.

They have a emergency lane designated on I-45 for emergency vehicles and service vehicles coming on to the Island including power companies, tree trimers, etc.  Apparently traffic is still backing up.  Officials are urging residents who have evacuated to please stay away and those in traffic trying to get on the Island to turn around.

Dr. Callendar of UTMB said it could be up to 2 months before UTMB is able to handle capacity.  Now if he meant full capacity - we couldn't determine.

Leigh Jones with the Galveston County Daily News asked whether FEMA was going to still be there to help once the "Response Phase" was over.  She was concerned (and we believe rightly so) that the longer Islanders are kept off the Island the more damage is occuring in structures due to water damage.  The FEMA representative (sorry folks didn't catch his name) was emphatic that FEMA and others will be there.  They said they are towards the end of the "Response Phase" and will be moving into "Recovery Phase" once the Island infrastructure is more stable - it is very fragile right now.  He assured the media and all watching that FEMA and other agencies will be with us in the long haul to help with recovery efforts per President Bush.

Also, another note on the Emergency City Council Meeting if you guys are following Leigh Jones' Twitter feed (link is posted in one of our blog entries for you):  they lost their quorum when Danny Weber left, so Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas still holds her emergency powers. 

Will keep posting with more as we get it.  Also, we're currently compiling other Island reports we've gotten from those on the Island and will be posting soon.

From the Press Conference just held within the hour and through Leigh Jones' (Galveston County Daily News reporter) Twitter feed, there is a new "Look & Leave" plan in the works.  We should be hearing something possibly after noon.  From the press conference it sounds as though they are devising a plan that will bring folks in groups designated by day.  We'll hear more soon.


Looks like a great resource of news from a Galveston reporter. You can follow her via her twitter site at

We were just watching Houston's Channel 2 news and the interrupted Galveston news coverage with the announcement that Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas has suspended/cancelled "Look and Leave" indefinitely.

We'll let you know when we hear more.

More Island Updates

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Confirmed:  Texas Heroes Monument on 25th and Broadway is ok and standing.  This was confirmed by Jeff and Kathy Modzelewski.

Palisade Palms is ok - we're hearing no broken windows.  Cosmetic issues only.

FEMA Listing of Texas Hotels

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Got news from folks in Omega Bay & Tiki:

Omega Bay on South Flamingo Street had not much wind damage but 4 feet of water on the ground floor.  There is someone else's boat in his front yard.  EXTREME CAUTION if you go back there - RATTLESNAKES are reported all over the area.

Tiki Island on Papeete took on 7 feet of water on the ground floor.  The boat was ripped from the trailer and found a few miles away.

We had 2 reports that 2 homes are still standing in Terramar.  This does not mean that more are not standing - we've just heard about these 2 specific confirmed cases.  If you have seen coverage on tv, many more homes survived on the West End than originally thought.  Again, we've only heard on these two homes because we've been in contact with owner's or friend's of the owners.

NOAA has released aerial images of most of Galveston and it's pretty good quality. You can view it online at

News from some of our best friends, Jason and Andi Newby (Jason is helping out on the Island through his Coast Guard duties) is that their home in San Leon has been devastated.  They have a boat in their yard now.

Please use this link to find and view the aerial shots of your property

We have heard from our friends Scott and Holly, Antique Warehouse (25th & Postoffice), who were trying to get back on the Island for the look & leave, that they've turned around to head back to houston.  As of 12:40pm today, Sept 16th, the traffic was backed up to the La Marque exit on I-45 onto the Island and it was "stop and go", but he estimated a 2+ hour wait to get to the causeway...

Stay tuned for more info on the look & leave and, hopefully, we'll have some updated pics of the Island, Mikie's shop, etc by later this evening when Mikie returns from the Island.

**If you do get on the Island, please be CAREFUL,  There are lots of mosquitos, debris, NO GAS, etc.  As mayor Thomas said, we have a "blossoming heath risk" as long as UTMB is not in service.  Please use caution and help each other out where you can.

Clyde Wood and Pete Prizer, thanks for all you are doing to help us and everyone else out on the Island.


Update on Look & Leave

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Look and Leave:  6am to 6pm daily.

Bring: proper identification to get on Island (drivers license, water bill, etc.); water; hand sanitizer; lots of mosquito spray; whatever you need to take care of yourself.  No water, no bathrooms, etc.  Very limited medical staff.

Remember you must be off of the Island by curfew which is 6pm.  They will mark your vehicle when you get on the Island so they know who is supposed to leave.  If you do not leave, you risk a $2,000 fine and/or jail.  Best case scenario is that you will be evacuated.

Email from Dana Bjarnason

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Email from Dana Bjarnason from Monday, Sept. 15:

Abdul and I (1305 Rosenberg) had flooding throughout the first floor but it did not go over the baseboards.
UTMB has suffered looks like it will be several months before any kind of normalcy will resume. DMAT is now responsible for healthcare...there are no clinic or hospital services on the island.
Our thoughts and best wishes are with all who have been affected by the devastating results of Ike....
GHF & Historic Landmark & Property Reports as of Sunday at 5pm

Tall Ship Elissa - ok, had some debris damage and sails missing

Santa Maria - she's ok, hit by another boat

The Sea Gull - she's ok - at Pier 37 now

Bishop's Palace - had roughly 3 feet of water in the basement, some windows out on 3rd Floor

Customs House - roughly 5 feet of water in first floor, some windows out

Ashton Villa - they think 3 windows out, roughly 12 to 18 inches of water in first floor, not sure about Carriage House

Samuel May Williams - ok

Menard House - ok

St. Joseph's Church - seems ok, some windows out

GHF Warehouse on Mechanic - roughly 10 feet of water they think

Salvage Warehouse on 23rd - some windows out & water inside

Garten Verin - fine

Balinese Room - destroyed

Galveston County Museum - seems ok

City Hall - roof collapsed

Galveston Historical Foundation Information

Temporary Headquarters at:

Preservation Texas
1204 San Antonio, Suite 204
Austin, TX

For more information on properties or to send volunteers:

Visit Preservation Texas's website or National Trust for Historic Preservation's site.  They are amassing volunteer groups for clean-up.

Also, if someone wants to donate money, so far we know that money can be donated on-line at Galveston Historic Foundation's website at or .org

GHF will be helping areas hardest hit.

Other Island Area Reports

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Other Island Area Reports

*Please note that this information has been received from people still on the Island.  We have no way of contacting them, so below is the information we can get from them when they are able to get a call out.  This information may be helpful for you in assessing roughly how your property may have faired.

3406 & 3404 O1/2:  2 feet water in the basements (ground floor "Texas Basements").  All other reports on these properties good (i.e. roofs, windows)

Menard House - all reports good

Samuel May Williams House - all reports good

Garten Verien - all reports good

House Roughly at 30th & P - no water in first floor; basement has standing water, roof damage.  This house is on a corner.

70's Blocks Behind Seawall:

Lake Madeline Area - couple of homes on Beluche backing to the lake have reported 3 feet of water in first floor

4 patio homes in Lake Madeline area burned
Beachtown & Evia:  "seem ok"

Silk Stocking Historic District Report So far

*Please note that this information has been received from people still on the Island.  We have no way of contacting them, so below is the information we can get from them when they are able to get a call out.  This information may be helpful for you in assessing roughly how your property may have faired.

2314 & 2318 - no water inside, roofs intact - no visible damage, both still boarded, both houses are roughly raised 4 feet.

1305 25th street (near M):  water to baseboards inside.  No other info.  See Dana Bjarnason's email we'll post for any other info. she may have shared

1307 25th Street:  roughly 6 inches to 10 inches of water inside, no roof damage reported, no windows out.

High Raised Cottage 24th Street between M & N:  family is safe, house is fine, car had tree fall on it - no specific reports on water height or damage at this time.

1813 24th Street Near Arlan's: we know the house is standing, no trees crashed into it and from the street, roof appears in tact.  lots of debris - don't know about water damage at this time.

We'll post more as we get it.  Overall, from reports to GHF and from folks in our area, areas South of Broadway on our end of the Island faired well.  Much less water damage and from some reports, some houses raised higher or on higher points may have escaped water coming into their first floors.

EAST END Historic District Reports so Far

*Please note that this information has been received from people still on the Island.  We have no way of contacting them, so below is the information we can get from them when they are able to get a call out.  This information may be helpful for you in assessing roughly how your property may have faired.

Shotgun House on 1700 Block of Winnie:  Water line is about 5 feet inside.  The house is raised about 2 feet off the ground.

1316 Sealy:  3 feet of water inside, front porch (bottom) ripped off, back deck moved, no visible roof damage.  The house is raised roughly 2 feet from the ground.

1420 Winnie:  tree in front of yard broke in half - did not hit house or structure; water line not visible

177 Block of Mechanic - one report indicated roughly 5 feet in first floor.  No information on height of house.

Overall everything North of Broadway was hit hard by high water including East End Historic District, Downtown, Strand Mechanic, etc.  Unfortunately due to the high water, which is receding if not completely by now, folks have had a hard time getting in there.  Also, it will be difficult to get info. on specific houses especially since our homes are raised at different levels.  We will be sure to post any other news we get.  Also, check out the post from on GHF on Historic Properties to get more area reports.

List of those who Stayed Who Are Safe

This is who we've heard directly from or we've heard from family or friends.  A name on this list does not indicate that someone is missing. We just have not heard from or about them yet, or we do not know them personally.

Clay Wade
Eve Monteith
Richard Abston
Richard & Woody (don't know last names)
Joe O'Drobinak
Cassie Boatwright
Diane Glowacki (sp?)
David Bowers
Scott Fields
Pete & Andrea Prizer
Gil Allen & Roger Villareal
Robert Evans
Clyde Wood
Calvin Wherle
Tommy LeCroy
David Dardin
Abdul Amin
Kevin Harrington & Family
Billie Archuletta - husband stayed and is ok
Rodney Seilers
J. Bangle
Any other GHF Staff who stayed are safe
List of those Who Evacuated & We've Heard From

Lauren & Kevin Scott
Adrienne & Michael Culpepper
Will Wright
Kim Wood
Kathy & Jeff Modzelewski
Bobby Joe & Liz Crocker
Ellen & George Christie
Patricia Morrison
John & Lynn Eanes
John & Kathy Worthan
Scott & Kathy Christopher
Dana Bjarnason
Pat & Stan Brown
Camille Edgar
Eric Morson
George Hannie, Jr.
Gene Kernan & Al Rumion
Bob & Adrienne Atadero
Thomas Cordell
Alicia Cahill & Family
Deb Murphy
Noel & Donna Spencer
Stan & Diane Humphrey
Gracie Churchman
Kathleen Brennan
Kokos & Angela Markides
The McBrides
Kristi Morgan Turner
All GHF Staff Who Evacuated

Hurricane IKE helpful links

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Helpful Links

Got to this website to get aerial shots of the Island to assess roof damage (at least as close as you can get).  Also George Hannie sent this link as well.

Here's George's (which may be the same, haven't checked):

FEMA Information:


Also, for GHF: they are operating out of Preservation Texas in Austin.

Check National Trust for Historic Preservation for updates on historic landmarks, structures, etc. and to send folks interested in volunteering once big clean-up happens, they can sign up on the this site.

Ok folks - according to the Galveston County Daily News, they are allowing Islanders to come to the Island for only a Look and Leave from noon to 6pm on Tuesday, September 16.  Please be advised that lines will be very long to get on and there is absolutely no gas.

You must bring Galveston identification like your driver's license.  Also, your vehicle will be marked "LL" to indicate that you are "Look and Leave."  At 6pm if you have not left, you will be evacuated.

Be advised - lots and lots and lots of mosquitos & tons of debris.  Take precautions accordingly.

More updates to come - stay tuned.


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