Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Smith Point, Texas

We have now concluded our first assignments and are preparing for our next assignments. There is recruiting among the housing inspectors to head to Illinois immediately to work the floods up there but we'll pass on that. We have requested that we stay in the Houston/Galveston area but have been told that we might wind up back in Louisiana, at least for a little while. We had planned a Mexican trip for this Fall and obviously don't want to get too far away from this area. Only time will tell where we wind up I suppose.

We were briefly assigned to the town of Smith Point, Texas a few days ago. Smith Point is out on the end of a peninsula that juts into Galveston Bay. The Texas State Police were keeping sightseers out and the first residents were just beginning to return. We were at the local volunteer fire department and a generator had been supplying power until a few hours after we arrived. Waters had swept over most of the peninsula during Ike. Animals were disturbed - there was an alligator living underneath the culvert to the fire station and we saw a fawn, looking confused, standing beside the road only a few hundred yards from the center of "town." We were told that the only industry in Smith Point had been two seafood processing plants and that one was destroyed in the storm so the future of Smith Point could be a bit rocky.

Trashed fishing boats:

Aren't you glad that you weren't in the portable loo when it got hit with this tree branch?

Interesting and clever portable SATCOM antenna. The entire system breaks down into 2-3 of those Pelican cases that you see on the ground yet can bring in Internet and VOIP phone, as long as there is power. I can see how something like this could be more readily deployable than some of the larger systems that were being used in areas where communications was poor. We could have used a system like this in the southern parishes of Louisiana.

We kept seeing refrigerators scattered throughout the fields as we drove to Smith Point, and at the time we were miles and miles inland. It was explained to me that most of the area was about 5 feet underwater when the storm surge came in, and that refrigerators and water heaters float. Further, that these appliances weren't from Smith Point, but had actually been blown across Galveston Bay and belonged to buildings in Galveston and Port Bolivar. Yikes!

Here's a fair-sized sailboat, I'd say about a 30 footer, sitting in a farmer's field. Once again, this is miles away from the water.

Another of the casualties of the hurricane. This Siamese kitten was found floating on a wooden board and was staying in the shelter at the fire station. Here's to hoping that Ike (The Kitten) found a good home. He (or she, there was some uncertainty there) was as cute as the proverbial button, and had tons of energy. Did I mention energy?

What had been nice waterfront property was completely trashed. I believe this was a campground of some sort - it might have been an RV park because there was one nearby but we were unable to find it. There were plenty of concrete pads suitable for RVs or mobile homes - just no buildings to be found on those pads.

As we left Smith Point the Red Cross had a long line of folks that they were feeding. That was perhaps 12 days after Ike had hit. Isolated, with no food and no power - keep it in mind the next time that you have troubles. We certainly will.


NomadRip said...

Great work you're doing :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for coming down here and thank you for writing about your experience.

A Smith Pointer

PyrateJohn said...

You folks in Smith Point are very brave. Hang in there! I'm hoping to visit there again once we return from our current trip and get settled into the Houston area.

Did anyone adopt the Siamese? ;)