Tag Archives: Bolivar Peninsula

One year after Ike

Galveston is still recovering from Hurricane Ike’s devastation. Which is not so unusual for the island city. It goes through hurricane hits every twenty years or so. But they’re still finding skeletal remains on nearby Bolivar Peninsula, parts of which Ike’s fifteen foot storm surge swept clean.

Gilchrist is gone


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.