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#256881 - 10/27/08 11:59 PM Re: My personal encounter with Hurricane Ike. [Re: REODayton]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Thanks REO - But, I did not quite make it through after all. It appears the winds whipped the vent pipe in my building back and forth and shook rust loose. That stopped up a pipe and my apartment flooded twice two weeks ago. I had not unpacked from Ike yet, so I'm good. I need to check out my plumbing book to see just what happened. My walk-in closet has the wall torn out and plumbing and insulation exposed. Stuff stacked everywhere. My apartment smells like dirty water. I haven't seen the plumbers in over a week. I think every repairman in a 500 mile radius must be working overtime to put the worst damaged homes back together first.

Galveston moved it's homeless to some old airport hangers a few days ago. That town is a mess but they are working on it very hard. All over the Houston area homes have blue tarps covering roof damage. But guess where there are NO blue tarps or missing shingles...new builder subdivisions. You can't even tell a hurricane came through here last month in most of them. Even the landscaping is back to normal. Galveston new subdivisions...that's another story to be told. No info yet on that.

Darlene

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#298141 - 07/12/09 12:59 PM Galveston Recovery - Hurricane Ike
Dallas Broker Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 58
Loc: Texas, United States
I came across report the other day that the Fed gov might take away Galveston, Texas distaster recovery funds if certain improvements are not completed by certain time...specifically cutting down trees that were destroyed by hurricane. Has anyone heard of this before? not sure if this would be encouraging for local government or morale. I agree there should be an agenda, but don't see why fed would threaten to take away funds they offered to rebuild an area in turmoil.


Edited by Darlene B (07/25/10 04:18 AM)

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#298206 - 07/13/09 04:26 AM Re: Galveston Recovery - Hurrican Ike [Re: Dallas Broker]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
There are thousands of these dead trees in Galveston, sadly. Here is a link to the progress. It does sound like Galveston is behind on this project, but the island was a mess after Ike, so first things first, I guess.

http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=acc0ab06200bc5e8

Here is a good article about progress made in Galveston since Ike. I was shocked they were able to proceed with the Dickens festival in such a short amount of recovery time. Good article.

http://blogs.chron.com/galveston/2009/06/memories_of_ike_weigh_on_galve.html

Just read that the funds are running out in September but lost the link. I guess Feds are not actually taking away the funds but instead, the deadline to use the funds is running out in September. Same difference...no money to remove trees after September so Galveston is gearing up to take them down now. After these hurricanes, I guess the city administrators are used to changing priorities. They are all dead but still giving some shade.

Here's another one I just found. Same thing. Talks about the "orange mark of doom" on the trees to mark them for cutting, that residents can ask for another evaluation if they think the tree is still alive. Galveston officials hate this as much as the residents.

http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=270d930ab8c2cd25


After Hurricane Alicia in 1983, I remember the palms being stripped and the long drive down Broadway appearing so barren. It took them a while to come back. Before Ike, it was a beautiful drive. I-45 South turns into Broadway as soon as you go over the I-45 South bridge onto the island, but I'm sure you know that since you are in Dallas. After that, just blocks and blocks of beautiful trees, buildings, flowers. Galveston will look quite different for a while, but the island is very resilient. Anyone visiting Galveston should inquire at the Historial Society office in the Strand area about the film showing the rebuilding of the island after the 1900 hurricane. That film is one of the best documentaries on human courage I have ever seen. Like most disaster documentaries, it will shock you what people went through back them. It is amazing how those old buildings stood up against that storm and some are still standing today.

I too lost a tree to a hurricane. I had a small tree, tall but a thin trunk, that was between the sidewalk and the street...about a four foot strip of grass. I thought the tree had made it through Hurricane Alicia in 1983. A few days after the hurricane, however (or a couple of weeks...whatever it was), I come home from work to find my tree laying directly across the street, blocking traffic. I guess the cars were just driving over it. It had been there for 18 years and was tall but with a very small trunk. I'm just glad it did not hit anyone because my street was only one block long and people liked to cut through to miss the light. Alicia was a bad storm but that tree was my only loss.

Dallas Broker, thanks for inquiring about Galveston. Galveston always seems to call us home, even if we were not born there.

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#335104 - 04/18/10 08:56 PM Galveston Ike issues still cropping up BUT they are ready for next hurricane
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
This link takes you to a 56-page Galveston Disaster Recovery Assistance Guide, 10th edition as of May 2009. Obviously they continued to keep it updated as help became available or as services shut down. When it actually hit the internet I do not know. This book does show that Galveston now have many assistance issues addressed and the city and county will be ahead of the game when the next hurricane strikes. What impressed me is the fact that they included names and phone numbers. Honestly, I believe Galveston officials as well as many in the private sector fought very hard at great personal inconvenience to put their island back into some kind of livable condition as soon as they were able. When we get another hurricane in this area, I will be on the lookout for this type manual from every county impacted.

http://www.help4galveston.org/assistance.pdf

Does that mean the residents of Galveston were satisfied that all their issues were addressed? Probably not...but people cannot be put back the way they were before a disaster. In fact, it usually takes several years for all the problems to crop up and be addressed. Another problem that has arisen is the property valuation issue. The following link is an eye opener for the problems that arise after a disaster just with this one topic alone. We just don't realize the number of years it takes for the people and governments (city and county especially) to fully recover from a hurricane.

http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?wcd=151488

If we substitute the word "fire" or "flood" or "tornado" or any other disaster in place of the word "hurricane", it all applies no matter where you live. I am currently looking at a particular manufactured home floor plan to use as an office. The biggest part of my time has been spent reading about how to tie them down to code in this hurricane prone area...and it ain't cheap, as we say down here in Texas.

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#344760 - 07/21/10 01:21 AM An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I hope you open this link.

I once lived in Buras. I had just turned 13 and my father was working offshore. When my mother took my brother and me to the movies, we would do the "ready-set-go" yell and run like crazy to get our tickets and get inside before the mosquitoes swarmed us. It was a nightmare.

We were in Buras for less than a year. My fondest memories were of my Home Economics class. I bought my pattern and my material at what was probably the only dry goods store in town. I learned to sew in that class and made some friends. Then one day my father came back from the rig and told us, "We're moving to Pasadena, TX". After 17 different schools and many more towns, this turned out to be our last move. I have been here ever since. If my father were alive today, he would be surprised to see this photo of Buras. He wasn't scared of anything but this would grab his attention, I am sure. In fact, when we left Buras pulling a trailer with all our furniture, Hurricane Audrey (I think...but it could have just been a tropical storm) was heading for Texas or Louisiana. We barely made it to Houston before it came ashore near Beaumont, I think.

I know all real estate agents have a deep respect for the weather and what it can do to property. I have seen the same photos you have but never thought I would see something like this one of Buras.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hurricane-Katrina-Buras-Louisiana-watertower-EPA.jpg

I just googled and found this link...the story of Buras after Katrina. Please read this, as it represents what communities suffer after a natural disaster. It is heartbreaking. Sadly, I may have known some of these people so many years ago when I went to school there.

http://www.angelfire.com/la/dwalker/katrina.html


Edited by Darlene B (07/21/10 01:29 AM)

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#344871 - 07/22/10 08:27 AM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Grampa Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 2276
Loc: Margaritaville
Wow. frown
_________________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
Dr. Seuss

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#345004 - 07/22/10 11:01 PM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Grampa]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Yep...a real shocker. It was a mess. I simply don't understand how anyone can afford the insurance in the areas where it is almost a guarantee that a big Cat 3 or more will relocate your living room to the Dairy Queen down the road.

The best source for tracking these storms is www.wunderground.com. Every weather site references them.

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#345005 - 07/22/10 11:28 PM NOAA, NWS, NHC Explained
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast


Edited by Darlene Bitner (08/30/10 10:52 PM)

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#345029 - 07/23/10 07:36 AM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Bigtoe Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Outer Banks
Originally Posted By: Darlene B
I simply don't understand how anyone can afford the insurance in the areas where it is almost a guarantee that a big Cat 3 or more will relocate your living room to the Dairy Queen down the road.


It is all in the construction. My house is 8 feet up in the air bolted to pilings which are 8 feet in the ground. The siding and framing is constructed in a manner so that there is horizontal fastening all the way from the pilings to the roof either with metal fasteners or overlapping plywood.

With the horizontal nailing patterns we lose shingles and keep the roofs.

We had a 20 ft wave hit here and the few old buildings on the ground were washed away and the ones on pilings were still sitting there when it was over.

With this type of construction the insurance costs are mitigated.
_________________________
Your Outer Banks real estate agent. Helping people buy and sell OBX real estate since 1989.

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#345074 - 07/23/10 03:14 PM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Bigtoe]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I am going to consolidate these threads on hurricane and other disaster construction types because people are going to need to know what their options are even above the code. I have read a lot on why we are having so many hurricanes and they are probably not going away. Is the first floor piling portion of your home enclosed or just supported with these horizontal fasteners or siding? It sounds like a very strong building. Are they all done that way when they go up on pilings or did you add something else--tweak the code to get the results you wanted? To come out of a 20 foot wave with your home still standing is amazing. I can see what you mean about the insuance costs.

I love NC...hope to go back some day. Everyone should see NC at least once. Beautiful beaches, too.


Edited by Darlene B (07/23/10 03:26 PM)

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#345372 - 07/26/10 09:31 AM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Bigtoe Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Outer Banks
NC has had these building codes since at least the 70's that I know of and they have been upgrading them ever since.

After the initial wave hit the beach the water ran across the island 4 feet deep with a current. This is what took the low lying structures away. The water just flowed under the houses on built up on pilings.
_________________________
Your Outer Banks real estate agent. Helping people buy and sell OBX real estate since 1989.

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#345445 - 07/27/10 12:45 AM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Bigtoe]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
One thing we haven't discussed much on this forum is the sound of these hurricanes, I guess because sound does not damage buildings...it just makes the ordeal more miserable for the duration. When I rode out Ike in my apartment by myself...and I still can't believe I didn't head to my mother's house until it was over...I made myself a little "shelter" in the hall with a comfy office chair and foot stool, radio, flashlight, water, cell phone and a few snacks. Honestly, I wasn't expecting it to be so stong. The hall put a room between me and the outside wall but the hall did lead to the back of the living room. With no upgraded windows and extra insulation, I still did not hear much. Several times I had to go to the living room and open the door to be sure the storm wasn't dying down. I have never been able to figure that one out. I did have a long porch across the front of my apartment with a six foot roof overhang. Still, I heard very little until I opened the door. It was surprisingly quiet until the roofs of some of the apartments began to peel back. I am wondering what I would hear up eight feet from the ground and the wind blowing through the pilings. That has to make for an uncomfortable six or eight hours.

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#349963 - 08/30/10 10:50 PM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
HURRICANE EARL: Our east coast and Nova Scotia may be in for some bad times with Hurricane Earl if it shifts any more to the west as it has been continually doing. It's a mean one and property damage will be extensive if we take a hit.

Our good friends to the north in Nova Scotia may be the ones getting the worst of it but all is still uncertain. Let's not forget these wonderful folks took in over 2,000 confused and freightened Americans whose airliners had to sit down unexpected immediately after the twin towers disaster. They fed everyone, helped them contact their families, gave them clothes, gave them clean and comfortable places to sleep in their homes, drove them to their places of worship and helped keep their spirits up in the 911 aftermath. I would hate to see the great people of Nova Scotia suffer through a hurricane like Earl...or anyone for that matter.

If it hits any coastline, we'll have another unwanted test of building materials, building codes, and methods of preparation for these storms.


Edited by Darlene Bitner (08/30/10 10:51 PM)

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#350219 - 09/02/10 08:17 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Let's keep our friends along the east coast in our thoughts and prayers. With Gaston predicted to be a Cat 4 heading to the Gulf, the stress level is rising everywhere. Looks like the estimated higher number of storms for 2010 may come true. Take precautions, everyone, and evacuate if you are told to. Hurricane Ike's storm surge cost people their lives who stayed behind to ride it out, not realizing it would not be possible. Look in the Amazing Video thread to see why you will have your hands full, even with the best constructed home, when the storm surge reaches you.

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#350529 - 09/06/10 10:01 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
We now have two systems in the Gulf to come in around Mexico-Texas border or a little higher, both within the next two days. We have Gaston drifting west, west, west...it won't change...so I guess east coast has a break on this one. Gaston may go over islands and fizzle or may go just under them and give the Gulf another problem or go over them and cross Florida into the Gulf. None of those choices make me happy. Also, rumor (actually, just one of the many sites I am using this year) has it that two more are out there behind Gaston. Truly, this is the most frustrating and tension building hurricane season I have been through. I think a lot of people will rethink where they want to buy or build after this season. I remember sitting in my mother's living room watching Frank Billingsley of Channel 2 Houston suggest strongly that Hurricane Rita was going to turn toward the TX-LA border (well before the Hurricane Center called it) and save Houston a direct hit. I was so hopeful but still very nervous. Well, Rita turned as Frank predicted and made other lives miserable. Where Gaston will go I do not know because nobody is talking with the system that far out. Still, we have to prepare before it gets here in case it gets here. For me, that is moving everything out of the trailer, a job that takes more than three days. I love this trailer but NOT THAT MUCH. I can get another trailer but I can't replace my personal belongings.

The mega-season that was predicted is coming true. Many on the net think these latest storms are not the end of it and we could go into October with some systems. Just pick who you trust and then confirm it with the NHC before making any decisions. There are as many opinions about where a storm will go as there are storm web sites. Just take precautions and be sure to gas up the vehicles. Remember my running out of gas the day after Ike?

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