Tag: hurricane

Hurricane Harvey Makes Mush of Today’s Texas Fly Fishing Report

| August 25, 2017 | 0 Comments

Conditions for Texas fishing and fly fishing in limbo as Hurricane Harvey does it’s dance on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Thanks for tuning in to the original Texas Fly Fishing Video Report! This week, we’re all getting a forced break in the action, as we watch and wait for Hurricane Harvey to make landfall. This one is a rainmaker. The talking weatherheads are all drawing straws to see who has to stand out there in the wind and rain (so silly and goofy). Then, they all line up in the same location, about ten feet apart (“are you in my shot?”), and act like they are planting a flag on the moon. When the intensity is all over, they pack up and leave, budgets shot, and tweeting their heroic activities in the van on the way home.

Below are a few of my images from Hurricane Ike, after all the talking heads had left. Those were the days when I had plenty of time ($) to do a story the right way – long form. By the time I can take this amount of time to do a story (Hurricane Ike) ever again? I will probably either be too old, or dead.

Hurricane Ike Damage

Hurricane Ike Damage

Hurricane Ike


Hurricane Ike – Photo Post Script

| October 20, 2008 | 3 Comments

I noticed Ex-President Clinton and Former President Bush were on the beach in Galveston last week.

They were in an area I did not have the time to get to, but it appeared to suffer heavy, heavy loss. Here are some more images from that foray.

Hurricane Ike Damage
This person has the right idea. I believe it floats. Whatever the case, it’s still standing … sitting … whatever.

[ppw id=”92841186″ description=”Hurricane Ike Photographs” price=”.10″]

Hurricane Ike Damage

Debris along the road waiting for pick up.

Hurricane Ike Damage
The piles grow and grow, dwarfing the machinery doing the piling. Perhaps they will leave it and build on top.

Hurricane Ike Photograph


Hurricane Ike Damage

Hurricane Ike Damage


Hurricane Ike – Nassau Bay C.O.R.E. – Part 3

| October 15, 2008 | 0 Comments

CORE works to restore Galveston after Hurricane Ike.

Map showing where CORE is located.

I remember quite clearly the night I was done in newspaper photojournalism. It was a driveby shooting in Escondido, California (remember the good old days?), and there came this moment, on the sidewalk when I just couldn’t hit the shutter button – I can still see it in my mind’s eye, but that is the only place it will ever be recorded. Being the young gun I was way back then, I didn’t realize it was over for me, but with almost twenty years past … essentially it was over. I slowly abandoned the police scanner, quit the palpitations every time I heard a siren, and wouldn’t chase fires unless they rented me a helicopter (fat chance). Now when I flirt with the news, I have to try and offer, a followup, redemption for taking a tragedy and blowing it all over the internet. The longer I was in Galveston, the more depressing it got, and should get, I suppose.

The best way to describe Christians Organized for Relief Efforts or C.O.R.E. Alliance, is as an organization on the ground – on the mainland in the Galveston area, that has set up the infrastructure for groups, large, small and even individuals to “plug” themselves into relief efforts that help people who really need help and may not be on the media radar or even local government radars. There’s no media, although there’s the occasional star – I walked right past Nastia Liukin not recognizing her in street clothes.

At work – CORE Command Central.

Your contact there is Lacy Hilbrich at 713-471-9457, and she along with a handful of other volunteers coordinate the assignments of up to 180 volunteers – where the stay and where they go on a daily basis. Right now they have a surge in weekend volunteers due to their proximity to Houston. During the week, there is plenty of room to stay and plenty of work to do.

Their base of operations is at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in the community of Nassau Bay. As you can see from the photography, the facilities are what, in my experience with Katrina relief work, I consider to be luxurious. Air conditioning, cafeteria, plenty of parking and right across the road from NASA. What more could you want? My immediate impression is that people of all ages can find work to do here, and there’s plenty of entertainment nearby so that youngsters tagging along will be able to reconnect with “civilization” at will.

CORE is located at 18220 Upper Bay Road, Houston, 77058 (Gloria Dei). Their web site is http://www.core-alliance.org .

Shower truck under construction at Gloria Dei.

Truck with items waiting for mudout teams.


Neighborhoods with appliances out on curbs waiting for pickup.


Typical project where all sheetrock is removed.

Water is always nearby – calm.

True appreciation on a local scale.

Next week will bring a photographic post script and possibly an update from trip to Beaver’s Bend this weekend. It just depends.

Hurricane Ike – Galveston Island – Part 2

| October 14, 2008 | 0 Comments

Hurricane Ike Damage
Pier is now chopped apart.

Now on the Island, there is a buzz of activity as workers from all over the United States work to gather up the bilge left behind by Ike. There is debris of every dimension, from medicine bottle caps on the beach, to shrimp boats in parking lots. Although was apparently 500-thousand gallons of various fuels spilled into the water, I saw no evidence of oil or “slicks” on the water from the vantage points on the island and looking across the harbor toward the production facilities. It may be out there somewhere, but I didn’t see that “drop in the ocean”. The USO, FEMA and the Salvation Army, along with many, many more organizations (without the readily identifiable vehicles), sit parked in the old downtown and all along the way down the island toward the San Luis Pass (SLP). Complete subcultures are in place – tent cities full of workers with every level of skills – there until the job is done, for profit. Stories of the profits from Hurricane Katrina (trailer loads of debris at 2-thousand each for a certain volume trailer) fuel this new disaster based economy.

Hurricane Ike Damage
Erosion and destruction.

The mainstream media (MSM) is long gone – there were no masses, heck there was no one standing around begging for Uncle Sam to save them. There just wasn’t a story according to the MSM. If there were a story, some governmental slam slant, rest assured they would all still be here. Whether or not it’s a different sociology in Texas, or God forbid the government is working this time, history will be the judge and jury on that count.

Virtually all roads are passable now. Sand and debris that was on the roads forms sand dunes, dry but like driven snow slush one finds as the snow begins to melt – not attractive in any way. Some piles are pure wood, splinters and boats as the icing on top. Just out of normal eyesight are the gathering spots, where all the loads of debris are dumped. Giant backhoes on top spread and pile, spread and pile. On Galveston proper, the seawall did what it was built to do. It held the Gulf at bey and minimized the damage – essentially reducing an F2 hurricane to the damage an F2 would do to a properly protected city. But I was headed back to see if Earnie’s was still standing, and that was miles down the road and miles from the seawall. Mentally, I reformed the hurricane so that I could get a perspective on wind direction, the eye of the hurricane and the path of the stronger and weaker sides of the rotation. Earnie’s could either be all there, or it could be all gone. Ike left little room for anything in between.

I have also always had this thing about the “follow up” from my newspaper days. It is painfully obvious that typical newspapers and electronic media increasingly do little if any follow ups to disasters anymore. News served straight up, without a twist, is no longer the norm, and bean counters are running newsrooms.

If I was so fortunate to do a story from Galveston one week before this natural disaster, the least I could do is drive the extra miles back to report to those wanting to know what remains. Morbid curiosity? Perhaps, but with part three tomorrow, I can offer readers a distinct opportunity to actually participate in the recovery efforts underway in the area.

I headed off the seawall and down toward Earnie’s. As I dropped down to real Island level, the reality of the sea – at sea level – becomes more vivid. The sand piles along the sides of the road now reach up to ten feet in the air. Stilted houses have all the accrutrements of a home washed away. Cars, boats, plastic chairs, buckets and toys all cleared from their hallowed places and now poking out of the piles that stretch for miles and miles. All of the stilted houses seem to have weathered the storm as they were designed to do – 15 feet off the ground to allow the water to wash underneath, some may lean a little, but they are still there.

Hurricane Ike Damage
Toys washed from under their stilted homes and across the road.

Evidence of just how much beach was lost is evident from the beach houses’ private boardwalks that once slatted their way over now extinct sand dunes – sitting 15 or 20 feet in the air. The beach itself washed down to the hard sand and then decorated with seaweed and more debris.

Hurricane Ike Damage
The debris goes on for miles.

Finally, I hit the SLP bridge and there’s no one to take the two dollar toll. A trash bag sits outside the door, but for all intents and purposes, abandon ship. After I crested the bridge, I realized why; the other side was barricaded to traffic with “Warning Road is Out” signs. Cars were coming from that direction, so it couldn’t be that bad. By the time I got to the second washout, I knew I would never have enough time to reach Earnie’s and get back without a lot more time on the clock. The closest I got to Earnie’s that day was the photograph below.Hurricane Ike Damage
Road to Earnie’s Bait near the SLP.

With the extra time on my hands I made it back to Galveston and headed back off the Island. At the last minute, I saw a sign for the “Historic Strand” and backtracked into town along an industrial road that also leads to the cruise ships. It looks like some industries have seized the opportunity of free hauling and taken massive quantities of their resident trash and shoveled it out to the street. It’s to be expected isn’t it?

Hurricane Ike Damage
Downtown Galveston – a washout.

I was slightly familiar with the “Fisherman’s Wharf” restaurant on the water, and needless to say, they will not be serving soon. The old buildings in the downtown area have all apparently had their bottom floors washed out – therefore rendering the floors above inaccessible and uninhabitable. It looks like a ghost town with only the clean up crews and noise of portable generators and fresh air units droning on in a constant pitch. Salvation Army food trucks stop and serve, and continue threading their way through the debris, dumpsters, parked vehicles, cones and barricades. It looks like business owners have abandoned their businesses to the recovery, or maybe they have just gone home for the day. It’s getting late on a Friday afternoon.

Hurricane Ike Damage
Bilge near the bridge.

I made my way back off the Island and toward Houston. Trucks with flatbed trailers loaded with used washers, dryers and refrigerators passed my Land Cruiser at warp speed. A repair truck passed by with a disturbing question in the back of it. It was loaded with a beautiful little old Boston Whaler (probably about 10 or 12 feet), and I was struck by the questions: Is that his Whaler? If it is, why isn’t it on a trailer? If it’s not, how in the heck did he find the owner and make a transaction in this disaster zone? And if it was his, why not just leave it where it was, or secure it on the spot? Looting? The government may be infusing millions, but the Island is still slowly bleeding out.

Hurricane Ike Damage
A sweet little Boston Whaler finds a new home?

Tomorrow, in Part 3, I will take a look at C.O.R.E. and their efforts on the mainland.

Hurricane Ike – Galveston Island – Part 1

| October 13, 2008 | 0 Comments

2008 Hurricane Ike in words and photographs

Hurricane Ike Damage
Strange remains from the ‘cane. I think I remember a building here before Ike.

My ears popped right about Death Row – Huntsville, Texas. It’s not an altitude pop – it’s a sinus pop. You see, if you live in North Central Texas long enough, and I guess get old enough, you finally get at least a touch of allergies sometime during the calendar year. For me, it’s second nature. Family calls from allergy free parts of Texas, and it starts; “You sound like you have a cold … yada yada yada.” It’s just part of everyday life at less than 100-percent … aging can be such a pain in the … heck, maybe it’s the constant pollution – orange, red and purple days.

But southeasterly bound, on I-45 out of Dallas, I begin to feel the weight being lifted from my eyes, ears, nose and throat. The glint of a late afternoon sun lights the razor wire like crystal chenille on a white woolly bugger. The stuff just glows, but doesn’t attract.

Only a few miles further along the road, and the first signs of Ike’s impertinence begin to show … [ppw id=”163781727″ description=”2008 Hurricane Ike” price=”.10″]

East Texas pines lay down in submission along the highway with no real pattern of wind direction. The cleanup is already well underway, and more than one tree has been segmented by chainsaws, gathered in a pile, and waits patiently for its final resting place as garden mulch or fireplace fodder for next year’s holiday memories.

The sun gets a little hotter, and the humidity goes up maybe five percent. I swear I can smell the salt just like smelling the ground shad on the surface of a lake sand bass blitz. It is so faint, so far away yet so close. This trip to Houston is work, and maybe a neighborhood pond or two. If I make it to Galveston, it’s to gawk, photograph, learn and inform – and get the word out about what the situation is here.

I had a shoot on Galveston Island only a week (to the day) before Ike hit it at a category 2, and moved inland with all the fury of a Atlantic bred 300 mile wide warm water hurricane.

It always tweaks my imagination that a hurricane that starts in the Atlantic, hits Cuba or other Caribbean islands, holds together and ends up in Texas. Too bad it doesn’t rain Cuban cigars, Rum and Red Stripe.

LK and I watched the national media showing the radar images of the hurricane as it hit the Texas Gulf Coast from a helpless distance at Abe’s Fly Restaurant in Western New Mexico. We were preoccupied about the inland direction of Ike as pundits showed it holding together all the way to DFW. The talking heads did their thing – broadcasting, like human yo-yo’s, into the wind and back out to show “folks back home” just how windy it was. Do people ever tire of these huge train wrecks in slow motion? Not yet.
Ike proved the unpredictability of hurricanes, and tracked more straight north sparing DFW a flooding rain and wind event that was earlier predicted. We rested easy after a few calls home, and got back to the San Juan swimming pool.


[/ppw]Tomorrow – Part 2 – on the Island

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