They're still picking up the pieces on the West End of Galveston, that ultra-low-lying stretch of land that, in the years before Ike, became a hotbed of development.
High-priced homes were built, huge condo developments were begun, population boomed in the flat miles west of the seawall.
As the boom went on, the agendas of the West Galveston Island Property Owners Association were filled with items dealing with how best to get even more development out there. Now the agenda reads like this:
Purpose is to update the west end on the Ike recovery efforts. We have speakers planned for the meeting: City, County, FEMA, Utilities, Planning, GLO, Public Safety, and Fire to advise where we are, what is being done, what POA's can do, etc, etc, in the disaster recovery efforts. We are still finalizing the speakers and hope to have an itinerary about the meeting tomorrow. We have a room large enough to hold 300 people so please tell your neighbors and friends.
Not included on that agenda, but stirring among West End homeowners, is another idea: a seawall of their own.
"We need a seawall-type structure for the west end like a revetment and we will pursue [it]," Jerry Mohn, WGIPO president, tells Hair Balls. "It's the biggest tax base for the city and sand dunes will not protect from the ravages of a storm like Ike."
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A revetment is a facing that's put on a slope to absorb energy from waves (or bombs). It can be made of rocks -- like the rip-rap seen elsewhere on Galveston -- or other material.
It sounds like it would be hellaciously expensive. There's a whole lot of West End to cover.
But that end of the island has been flexing its political muscle recently. We'll see if Ike washed some of that clout away.
-- Richard Connelly