How’s the Strand? How’s Baghdad?

At noon on Thursday, September 11th (what is it about that date?), I had already evacuated to Bryan, and was settled in my lounger watching Galveston Reality TV when my cell phone chimed. It was the alarm company calling to let me know the front door of my office “had been breached.”

“Do you want us to go check it out?” they asked.

“Do you have a submarine?” I asked back.

A full 24+ hours before a drop of rain had fallen, and the Gulf had crossed FM 3005 just west of the end of the Seawall and climbed four feet to our front door. Is it any wonder so many people were caught unawares?

Here’s what’s left of our office. We called her the S.S. Minnow. Her remains were swept to the curb today. She has set sail, and she will be missed:

S.S. Minnow -- Keller Williams Galveston

The Seawall has been pretty normal for nearly two weeks now. Most front row restaurants are open — Gaido’s, The Spot, Olympia Grill, Benno’s, Saltgrass, Landry’s, Fish Tales — almost all of them. The sign outside Miller’s says October 31st… and then we will be complete in that category.

The Strand looks a little like I imagine downtown Baghdad: dusty, dirty, blown out store fronts. Somebody asked me today what was open on the Strand. I had to break the news to her gently — every single ground floor business on the Strand — and on Mechanic, and Market, and Postoffice — got about 10 feet of water. Feet, not inches. It will all be brought back sparkling and new — but it is not open now. Not even close. I think Rudy & Paco’s is saying January. Sounds about right for most places.

But Dickens on the Strand should be great! Street vendors on the brick streets — just like it was in the 19th Century, right? Ya’ll come!


Copyright © 2009 Alice Melott Robertson

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  1. #1 by Patty on October 22, 2008 - 6:43 pm

    Do you have any pictures of Isla Del Sol while the water was high? We’ve seen quite a few after the water receded but I’m curious about how our little neighborhood looked with all the water surrounding our homes.

  2. #2 by amelott on October 22, 2008 - 7:18 pm

    I haven’t seen or heard of any pictures during the storm from Isla del Sol. I did hear that there was a resident who tried to drive out of the subdivision on Thursday before the rain came — in his Corvette — and didn’t get to FM 3005 before being swamped. As I heard it, he had to be rescued by a fire truck — which was barely high enough to get through the water and had to suspend rescues shortly thereafter because of the surge. Big-time lesson in getting out early.

    By the way, my garage in Isla looked perfectly normal, but the fridge had been lifted and floated in front of the door. Somebody’s deck floated up to my slab. So clearly there was water — but it didn’t break stuff so much as float it around.

    What did you see?

  3. #3 by Cindy on October 25, 2008 - 8:23 am

    It’s curious isn’t it that with today’s technology, we just dont see many photos or videos taken during one of these storms. Maybe somethings are better left unseen, or maybe we would have a better understanding of the storms and respect for mother nature if we could see. I haven’t spoken to one person who rode it out who was ready to describe it in detail. If only those homes could speak to us….what a tale to tell.

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