Thursday, September 25, 2008

Then and Now

We're still praying for our friends in Baytown and surrounding areas who are recovering from Hurricane Ike. We understand half of Baytown still has no power, and the clean-up process has a long way to go. Here are some pics our friend David Smith took of our old neighborhood:

Our old house. The blue tarp on the back corner (where Julia's room was) shows the house sustained damage in the same spot where a tree landed during Hurricane Rita in 2005.

Down the street from our house. These houses back up to what's known as "Slapout Gully" (which feeds into Burnet Bay) and sustained a lot of flooding.

A big tree down about five houses away from our old house.

A couple of blocks from our old house. I don't know how to describe how beautiful Baytown's neighborhood of Lakewood -- and our old street in particular -- used to be. We lived on North Burnet Drive, which is the last street before the bay. The houses across the street from us were waterfront houses. It was an older neighborhood with huge magnolias, vibrant azaleas and lush oleanders. We even once had wisteria that wound its way across our back fence. You can imagine what it was like for me to move from dry, drought-ridden Abilene into southeast Texas' very own Garden of Eden in 2001. I hope Baytown and Lakewood can eventually become what they once were.

And now on to Kemah. We lived about 30 minutes from the Kemah Boardwalk and we loved going there. It had restaurants, a midway, shops and a hotel.

Here's Jenna at Kemah in 2005 with a view of some of the shops over her right shoulder...

...and what the same area looks like now.

The midway area as it looked when Chad and I rode the ferris wheel on my birthday several years ago...

...and the midway now. There was also a carousel where we took some great pictures of Julia and my dad when she was a toddler. After Ike, horses from the carousel were found scattered throughout the park.

The Kemah Boardwalk entrance back in its glory days...

...and the entrance now.

The Saltgrass restaurant as it looked when our good friends Bill and Margaret Ehlig took us there a few days before we moved to Arkansas...

...and the Saltgrass now.

So please keep praying for everyone on the Gulf Coast who lost so much. The news media has basically moved on to other things, and it never gave Baytown much attention anyway, except for the refineries there. But there are still lots of people hurting and trying to figure out how to rebuild their lives.

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  • At Sat Sep 27, 08:24:00 PM, Blogger Winston said…

    A tragic but well-done pictorial of the recent storm damages ... are you going to run that in the Baytown Sun?

  • At Sun Sep 28, 01:29:00 PM, Blogger Mae said…

    Isn't it sad when landmarks you've known and love are damaged or taken away like they were bread crumbs on the table? Rebuilding will happen, lives will move on, just with more appreciation and love... that's my prayer anyway.

    I'm reading a book and wanted to recommend it to you and Julia. It's "Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City" by Kirsten Miller. Good stuff so far! It's also a series and has interactive detective like activities on-line. Sounds right up the super sleuth's ally! :)

  • At Sun Sep 28, 09:54:00 PM, Anonymous Rena Gunther said…

    Thanks for posting these pics and reminding us just how real the devastation is!

    I was in Kemah April of 2006. It is hard to comprehend such loss.

    Rena Gunther

  • At Mon Sep 29, 08:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We lived in The Woodlands about 6 years ago and loved to go to Kemah. I have some beautiful pictures of the Boardwalk from 2001. I will be praying.

    Manda from Alabama

  • At Mon Sep 29, 10:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's been an amazing experience. I live in Lakewood. Yes the storm hit us hard. I could even drive around the block, there were so many trees down. But the people in Lakewood are so proud of our community. They started that morning cleaning up. I remember one house, looking at it from the street, by noon you couldn't tell that he had even been hit. Neighbors are helping neighbors and it will get cleaned up.

    There are lots of families that do need prayers. I heard yesterday that there are 47 houses in Lakewood that never will be again.

    I expect that Lakewood will be just as beautiful before long.


  • At Tue Sep 30, 01:30:00 PM, Blogger KentF said…

    Wonderful pictorial Deana - very moving.

    I'm sorry for the loss in your neighborhood Lori. Things were fairly rough in our city of Lufkin to the north of you, but nothing compared to that.

    I still get a little bummed that it seems the rest of Texas has forgotten about this storm due to the financial crisis, and there are still so many without power. I saw a Houston news story about a family of 10 in Kemah - 5 adopted children, one with special needs, is living in tents in their backyard. Sad.


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