Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oak Island post Hurricane Ike



Note: I received this email from one of my brothers and decided it was so timely, I needed to post it for all to read.

Yesterday I rode my bike from Fort Anahuac down to Oak Island and back. It was a real shocker. Oak Island is a small community consisting of about 350 homes, of which Hurricane Ike wiped out about 90%. When FEMA pulled out of here these small communities where left to fend for themselves. I’m thankful for FEMA but like any government run organization, they are going to the high profile places first because that is where the politicians get the most recognition.

Now don’t get me wrong, this was not a bunch of shacks nor was it a bunch of mansions. It was just a nice little mix of working folks living there lives on the bay. They even have their own winery. It was several months before electricity and water was restored there. FEMA has since moved back in to help these folks out and that’s what it’s all about.

I rode over there last year shortly before the storm hit so the view of what it used to look like was still fresh on my mind. What caught my eye first was at the church when you first enter town. A large tent was set up and it was obvious that it there to prepare food. I first thought they were having a bazaar or other activity but it looked a little too permanent.

Now I was kind of apprehensive about riding through here because I knew these people were hit pretty hard and I didn’t want to look like I was there to gawk at their problems. When your house looks like the siding was removed with a large can opener and all your possessions are exposed it is a very humbling experience and I wasn’t about to intrude into their privacy.

I took the first road the headed out of town and made my way back to Anahuac. As soon as I turned the corner I saw a lady exiting a large white trailer. There weren’t any windows on this trailer, only a door on each end with a small set of stairs.

As I got closer I notice the sign that said “Ladies Room and Showers”. There are still numerous signs of destruction and many people lost everything except what they managed to take when they left. There are still people living in tents that are rebuilding their homes and these people are working together to make it through the storm, even though it was eight months ago. TJ Bustem (brother of Baytown Bert)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was down IN GROVES TX today -- and still there is so much to do there to. Not on the news doesnt mean it isnt there . OAK ISLAND people were hit hard...and the farmers in that area are still hurting. AMISH have been down there building fences but most of the grazing and farm land is still dead from the salt water....

Anonymous said...

Our youth group has been down to Oak Island twice to help with hurricane relief. The church there is in charge of the rebuilding effort. It coordinates the groups that come to help and feeds them three meals per day in a large tent. The community is in need of skilled labor to build houses. Most of the debri clearing has been done.

The older I get... No regrets please.

The older I get, the more I realize how much time I've wasted that could have been productive. Not for one second do I think ...