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Hurricane Ike and the beach

sea-rim-fenceTwo days ago we drove down to the beach.


Sea Rim Park and the McFadden beach have long been favorites of mine particularly in the winter time. The beach always is so inviting despite the weather, mostly because we usually have it to ourselves. I love to watch the birds run across the sand; pick up sea glass, look at the flowers blooming in the dunes, walk down to the huge beach sock intended to stop erosion. But this time was different.


There was no-one on the beach and a few birds scurried across the sand but the entire topography had changed. There were no more dunes. We could see the ocean from much of the road but no longer could we access McFadden Beach. Sea Rim Park was just a skeleton. Marsh grass was caught in all the fences and in the trees.


One pull-out spot was a favorite for bird-watchers—and a very nice haven for lots of biting insects. It was marked closed—mostly because the boardwalks which permitted travel through the marshy areas were piled in huge jumble midway through the area.  This area is several miles from the ocean and used to be cattle ranch land. But marsh grass was caught in the trees at least four feet above my husband’s fingertips.

Sabine Pass was so sad. Some cleanup had occurred with people now living in campers or tents on the slabs that had been their homes. Nearly every building had a huge pile of debris in front while there were no windows in the houses, and clearly no-one was living in those dilapidate structures. The devastation after Rita looked like someone had driven a bull-dozer around randomly but this was far worse.


Our next stop was the Port Arthur Yacht club. Boats were piled helter-skelter on the banks of the InterCoastal Waterway; huge holes were in many, while a dozen or so had been placed back in the few slips that were still functional. The top of the covered boatyard was piled along the docks several hundred yards away. The fancy houses that faced the marina were accessed by extension ladders while plywood covered their windows.


It’s been over two months since Ike hit—recovery comes slow and we’ve learned to measure it in years rather than weeks.


Compare the beach photos of April 08


with this week’s photos



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