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Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bolivar Peninsula

Since the sun was shining and I had the day off, I decided to take a drive to see some of the effects of hurricane Ike on the Bolivar Peninsula. The peninsula is like a barrier island separating the Gulf of Mexico from Galveston Bay. The Bolivar Peninsula is just south of Anahuac NWR property. Galveston Bay borders the southern boundary of the refuge.

While most of the debris has been cleared by now, there was still evidence of the devastation in the area. Of the 8700 homes on stilts on the peninsula, only 1800 weren't wiped out.
Most of the businesses were not on stilts, but built on the ground. The result...just about all businesses were flattened, like this True Value Hardware Store. Other than a rebuilt doughnut store, there really isn't anywhere to eat out anymore. The Stingeree Restaurant, where I have gone in the past, will re-open on Wednesday.

This is another of the shredded homes that I saw.

You can't keep these peninsula people down for long. New homes are being built once again. The difference that I could detect is that the stilts are made of steel as opposed to wood. I'm not sure that will make a noticeable difference should another hurricane with the force of Ike hit, but then I'm not an architect.
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One of the few businesses that was open was an auto repair shop. I decided to stop to see if I could get an oil change on the Focus since it was within three miles of being due. To say they were happy to see me was an understatement. There were three mechanics standing around just waiting for some business. Since Ike, their business has been cut in half. The wife (and co-owner of the shop) worked the office, and we had an interesting chat while the guys worked on the car. I learned that when they were told to evacuate, she and her husband only took their computer and two days worth of clothes. She said they were not told how bad the storm would be. They had boarded up their home and business, but left everything, including their fifth wheel, behind. They expected to be back in a day or two. As it turned out, they weren't allowed back for two weeks, and had lost everything. When they returned, the battle with the insurance companies began. She was pretty bitter about how they were treated by the insurance people.
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She was also sad about the loss of trees and owls. The local Audubon Society is giving all residents free trees to plant on their land. The shop has twenty acres, so they were given fifteen trees. She misses the owls, and felt that is the reason for the horribly large number of mice that are now everywhere on the peninsula. Who would guess that a hurricane would cause an explosion in the rodent population? Many of the customers that they now get come in with complaints about their vehicles that turn out to be caused by the mice chewing the wires in their vehicles!
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Wow, that was an informative 15 minutes I spent getting the oil changed. Both owners thanked me for my business and wished me a Happy New Year. I'm glad I could contribute a little to the recovering economy of Crystal Beach.
This was the sunset outside my rig on Christmas Eve. It looked better in person. ;)
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Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

2 comments:

  1. Great report, Judy. I agree...very informative time at the oil change place!
    Deanna

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  2. I wouldn't have thought about the loss of trees leading to the loss of owls, leading to an increase of mice. Everything is connected, isn't it.

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