Gilchrist is gone

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They loved the sunsets in Gilchrist, the working-class people in the seashore homes, but the people are just about all gone now. Hurricane Ike wiped most of the little village away. Its collection of mainly homes on stilts, just above the flat ground of the narrowest point on Bolivar Peninsula, was just east of devastated Galveston.

The peninsula in general, and Gilchrist in particular, took the fierce right side of the Category 2 hurricane: the 110-mph winds and a storm surge estimated at 15 feet or more (topped by 20-foot high battering waves). Combined, they swept much of Gilchrist clean, as shown in the Accuweather shot above, and in these before and after photos. No one knows how many residents elected to stay to ride out the storm. Apparently few survived. There isn’t even enough debris to search. Gilchrist was one place whose peril was not overestimated.

Via Jeff Masters.

UPDATE:  The owners of the lone, surviving house above finally return to it. Turns out the photo is not by Accuweather, but by Smiley N. Pool, now at the Houston Chronicle, formerly of the Austin daily.

0 responses to “Gilchrist is gone

  1. All I can say is… WOW! The USGS before and after photos really grab at your heart when you think that someone may have tried to stay there.

  2. All I can say is… WOW! The USGS before and after photos really grab at your heart when you think that someone may have tried to stay there.

  3. It seems certain that some did, and lost their lives because of it.

  4. Election, Obama, Palin, global warming fraud, etc doesn’t matter to them anymore.
    Why didn’t they leave? This could have been prevented – if only they listened to the warnings.

  5. None of that stuff may have mattered to them to begin with. Not everybody pays attention to the news. As to why they didn’t listen, well, they either didn’t hear the warnings or they didn’t believe them. There have been many such warnings over the years that turned out to be only so much hype. The media is well known for hysteria. I know people who think that way. In fact, I may be one of them, though I would have used the web to analyze it for myself before deciding whether to leave. But, frankly, I also thought a lot of the warning was hype, especially after Gustav turned oiut to be tamer than advertised.

  6. Yeah… wow of a sad kind. Imagine having called this place your home for years.

  7. Indeed. Imagine being in your beach house when the big waves overtopped it, and it twisted off its foundation and was blown apart. The stuff of nightmares.