The most memorable and powerful image of the destruction from Hurricane Ike for me is this one. The image is from Gilchrest, TX. Although Galveston and Houston received most of the media attention before, during, and after Ike, it was this town located just north of Galveston on the Bolivar peninsula that received the full brunt of Ike‘s fury. With no sea wall to protect it, and only a few feet above sea level, the town was decimated by Ike’s powerful storm surge. Although the house seems to have survived the storm, the surge pushed water inside the house rendering it uninhabitable. A larger image can be seen in this impressive photo gallery from The Big Picture.
A big reason this house was able to remain standing was that it is relatively new. The original house was destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005 and was recently rebuilt. Wood columns support the house raising it 14 feet above ground, but still not enough.
Government officials are in the process of determining whether or not residents will be allowed to rebuild on the vulnerable barrier island. The residents of this house said they would rebuild if allowed.
It is easy to criticize and wonder why in the world anyone would rebuild a house a 2nd time in 3 years on a piece of land that’s main purpose in nature is to buffer the mainland from the Gulf of Mexico. But a similar scenario happened here with many houses on Folly, Sullivan’s, and the Isle of Palms being destroyed by Hugo only to be rebuilt, waiting for the next hurricane that will eventually come.