Since there’s some sort of election going on right now and the media is saturated with nothing having to do with the Galveston area, Gail has filled me in:
Galveston does have one advantage over New Orleans—it’s a sandbar, not a bowl. The water came up, and the water went down again…. However, houses all over town took on anywhere from one foot to 10 feet of water, depending on where they were and how high the house was elevated. (We have a LOT of the “house on stilts” houses.) The houses across the street from us weren’t damaged, but the houses right behind them were devastated. Bricks knocked off the walls, holes in the walls, etc. Behind the seawall, it’s really hit or miss as to what was damaged and what wasn’t. The seawall worked as it was intended.
But the damage is unspeakable.
On the west end, beyond the seawall (2/3 of the island’s length) it depends on the building standards used in building the houses, and how close the houses were to the beach. A lot of the front row houses are nothing but foundations. Up on Bolivar Peninsula, across the ferry ride to the north, there were no building standards. And the roughest winds and waves hit there. There are places there with nothing left, including foundations… Whole neighborhoods scraped clean.
There are still around 20 people missing who tried to ride out the storm. About a dozen drowning victims have already been found in the debris fields on places like Goat Island and Pelican Island. Some of those debris fields are 30 feet high and cover about 30 acres, of trees and house pilings and boats and furniture and … crud.
The destruction, she says, is so huge and so much everywhere you look, it’s no wonder people flocked to the free book lady to escape into anything to read. I especially like her enticing that young boy by telling him she had books that would scare him witless. Since the library in Galveston flooded completely, the free book lady may be one of the few sources of books:
One of the things that got flooded in Hurricane Ike was the Rosenberg library, which is close to downtown. They lost their entire children’s collection, which was on the ground floor. Not just books, but all the DVDs and chairs and finger puppets and everything. And since they don’t even have shelves to put the books on, they’re not in any shape to take donations of books. If y’all can spare a few dollars—even just five—that would get them closer to being able to put books back on the shelves. You can visit the library website at http://www.rosenberg-library.org to learn more, and they have a donation button right there. Or you can send a donation to Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy Avenue, Galveston, TX 77550 which is fully tax-deductible up to the maximum allowed by IRS regulations.
With the economy in a solid downturn, charities are going to feel it hard this winter, especially around the holidays when people who would normally give won’t be able to as much. But as any not-for-profit can tell you, even $5 makes a difference when many, many people spare that $5.
So what’s your charity of choice, book related or not? And are you in the Galveston area? What news do you have?