Hurricane Ike hits me where I used to live: Crystal Beach, Texas

Crystal Beach is on the Bolivar Peninsula. It's kind of above Galveston. It's point A, like this:

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I don't know about you, but I haven't seen or read much in the mainstream media about the devastation of Bolivar Peninsula caused by Ike. The guestimates so far are that 80% of civilization on the peninsula is gone. Just gone. Poof. There were a lot of high dollar houses in Crystal Beach, most of them being vacation homes.

I guess I've been getting my information from "social media technologies." I read about it on a post on a blog of social media for a PR Class, "Houston media relies on social media in the wake of Ike." Sure 'nuff, that's what I've been doing. I wasn't seeing much of anything on the news or weather channels and I was worried about my friends who live on the peninsula full time. So I went online looking for info. First I found ABC13's live video. There I heard a reporter reaming the governor of Texas for the media blackout surrounding what was happening on the peninsula. Then I started looking for pictures and blog posts about what was happening there. This is some of what I found.

The big picture before and after.

Sandpiper subdivision where I rented a house for a year and a half, before and after.

I think this site has the best comparison pictures so far. People are sending him their photos and he's posting them as fast as he gets them. He posted both of the photos above. After I saw this stuff and heard what they were saying on the news, I called my friend Suzy who lives in Crystal Beach full time. She owns and manages a great restaurant, DeCoux's, with her husband Larry, and she is also a real estate agent. She and all of her family are fine, thank God. But she says the restaurant and the real estate office, which were in a small strip center, are just a slab now. They are at a house further inland, and they have electric by generator, water and plumbing (for now). She seemed upbeat, considering. She seemed grateful for what they have, which is so much more than many others right now. That's grace in action. And I am full of gratitude that my friends are all right.

This is a great post about some different aspects of the tragedy: Hurricane Ike, West End, Bolivar Peninsula, and FEMA Response. If anyone is wondering why someone would disregard a hurricane evacuation order, there's a good explanation in this post. I did it once while I was living there. And I think he's pretty much hit the nail on the head. The author of this post reports that the historic lighthouse had its top shaved off, which was later found not to be the case. The lighthouse has survived once again (built in 1872, it made it through the great storm of 1900 that killed 6,000). That's a good thing. The lighthouse is very symbolic to the residents of the peninsula.

Some good photos here from Heather at She took the lighthouse photo above.

So all of this has me thinking about what it must be like to be a person with chronic illness in the face of such tragedy. More on that later, maybe. And definitely more on good memories of Crystal Beach. Like this:


  1. Thank you for your post. I owned a home in Sandpiper. I do not understand why mainstream media has disregarded the Bolivar Penninsula. Sad for us, but even sadder for the local residents who were some of the happiest people I have ever met.......

  2. I'm sorry for the loss of your home; the residents of CB are not finished yet... I'll do another post about it soon.

    Thanks for commenting!

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