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September 13th, 2008
01:23 PM ET

Major damage on Surfside Beach

CNN's Susan Candiotti is nearly blown over as she reports on the conditions of Hurricane Ike.
CNN's Susan Candiotti is nearly blown over as she reports on the conditions of Hurricane Ike.

Susan Candiotti | BIO
CNN Correspondent

SURFSIDE BEACH, Texas - Surfside's Mayor Larry Davidson says 20 homes are destroyed.

The island is trashed with household items including refrigerators, grills, and furniture scattered about the island. A storm surge of up to 12 feet flooded the island - population of about 1,000.

The Surfside police chief tells us it's pretty devastated.

"We've got houses blown into houses and in bits and pieces ... Of the 10 or so homes (on stilts) on one end of the beach, maybe two are left ... They're just in pieces. It's a mess."

Chief Smith says the man who refused to leave the island is OK: "Roy Wilkinson? He's fine, sittin' on his front porch taking it all in."

Smith's own home, built just four months ago is standing. It's flooded on the ground-floor storage area. Living area above on stilts is mainly OK.

The chief says there was a suspected chemical leak at one of the many petrochemical plants in Clute and around the port of Freeport but it turned out to be false. He says there are no problems at any of the plants.

Crews are already trying to remove debris from beach roads.

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Filed under: Hurricane Ike • Susan Candiotti
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. ,Barbara-Dalton Ga

    I just want to say all the cnn reporters have done an excellent job
    on reporting Ike. I have watched the coverage from the beginning
    and found everyone involved did an excellent job. I am glad everyone
    is ok and will soon be getting some very deserved rest, good meals, showers, and just all around pampering.

    September 14, 2008 at 11:38 pm |
  2. LD

    Crystal Beach and other areas of the Bolivar Peninsula were destroyed in Hurricane Ike, and there is barely a mention of these communities. People who have homes, families and lives there are desparate for infornation. Local and national media has barely covered this situation. The area cannot be reached by ferry or roadway at this time. People are relying on the media for information. Surfside has been very well documented. There are other communities who deserve the same attention.

    September 14, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  3. Kim Jordan

    This is too bad. BUT, there is another beach...another area that CNN and KHOU have been ignoring...just east of Galveston across on the ferry you'll find (or would have found) Bolivar Penisula and the communities of Crystal Beach, Gilchrist, High Island. There is very limited information or photos being shown yet this area got much worse of an impact than Galveston since it has NO seawall. The pass to the mainland was washed out on Friday so many residents were unable to get off the penisula. (Ferry service had been discontinued as well.) The photos that are showing up show complete and utter destruction. People are waiting on some word – can CNN not fly over? Is the news just too bad? Hundreds and hundreds of homes were there. People were there. Where are they now???

    September 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  4. Pam

    I agree with Carolyn. The residents of Galveston who decided to stay and then had to be rescued because they didn't listen should be fined for the costs of manpower, helicopters, fuel etc. Not to mention they put the rescuers lives at risk also. If they are going to make up their own minds to stay, let them figure out "in their own minds" how to save themselves.

    September 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  5. Jared

    Building a house out of wood leaves less of a carbon footprint then building out of brick, and it uses less of our planets limited resources (in America we are smart enough to plant more trees than we cut down).

    September 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  6. Sandy

    There is an old saying that the foolish man builds his house upon the sand and when the rains come and the stream rises and the wind blows the house will fall with a great crash. After 2000 years some people still don't get it.

    Barrier islands and sand spits are moving bodies of sand. If you build on them the buildings will fall.

    Why should taxpayers pay for the stupidity of these people, again and again???

    September 14, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  7. Trish A

    I really think before all start placing blame we should get the facts about their situation. There could be many reasons we're not aware of regarding why people stayed in their homes. There are many unique circumstances among those who stayed.

    If you take into consideration the traffic jams experienced in leaving, the hours people spent on the highway to get to safety it gives us the reality of difficulty involved. Those having faily members who are ill, disabled, elderly have greater difficulty handling the long, arduous journey and when we take into consideration that most small stores, gas stations, etc. were closed it adds to the problem!

    So before we rush to judgement we should ask ourselves what would we have done under these circumstances and knowing for certainty we would be hours on a highway at a snail's pace to reach safety.

    September 14, 2008 at 7:54 am |
  8. Steven Mayo

    I strongly believe that the people that were capable of, but refused to leave, should be held liable for any expense incurred in their rescue.

    September 14, 2008 at 7:09 am |
  9. Daisy

    It seems many people trying to board up their houses on the Bolivar Peninsula (east of Galveston, direct hit from Ike's eye) got caught on the island as the water surged in much faster than in a "normal" hurricane. It was still 200 miles from landfall when it became undriveable. If they survived, they were lucky, and will have harrowing stories to tell. Please report on the destruction of 4,000+ homes on the peninsula, they are ALL gone from what I've heard.

    September 14, 2008 at 3:18 am |
  10. Jason

    What a difference a few days make!

    For Hurricane Gustav, we saw images of the President in the TX State operations center and John McCain packing boxes of relief supplies. Ike, it appears is a much larger storm and will have a greater impact locally and nationally. But there are no images of the Republican candidate or the President like we saw a few days ago.

    It is noteworthy that the Republican National Convention was going on while Gustav hit. This could be a reason for the more public response. But it strikes me that this makes the response to Gustav a political move on the part of the Republicans.

    Did anyone else notice the difference in the response?

    September 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  11. Jo Ann Burke

    Something doesn't seem fair here, they are prosecuting the little man who is trying to work hard for a living for price gouging. Excuse me why aren't they prosecuting the oil companies who are responsible for the price gouging rather then trying to wipe out out middle class working stiffs????? I guess the old adage the rich get richer and hang the middle class worker.

    September 13, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  12. peter newmarch

    i cannot understand why development is allowed in 1:100 year flood areas. this is the planning norm internationally, why do the authorities allow continual development / upgrades etc... in these zones. in many countries if a house is in a zone like this it wont be insured. why do americans still build houses in wood – after all they get knocked over like matchsticks all the time and adds massively to the global warming problem – why not just build in brick, you wont have as much damage, its easier to repair, last longer, is more environmentally friendly etc....

    September 13, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  13. Cathleen McCulloch

    Looking for information on any damage done in South Shore Harbor Resort and Marina. Mother has a boat docked in Marina.

    September 13, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  14. Alex Dzeda - Austin, TX

    We're getting damage here in Westlake Hills, in Austin, TX, but it's from fighting, as there's currently EMS, goodwill, the Fire Dept, and the police all at our little middle school!

    Expect an I-report of it soon, if they let me in :).

    September 13, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  15. Carolyn Harris

    When it's manatory to leave and they stay, they need to be fined heavily for all the helicopters, boats man power etc for coming out and indangering their lives. The tax payers money is being used to save them . Their foolishness is time consuming, dangerous and expensive to do something that they wanted to do. Charge them and the next time the might not be so stupid. They were warned!!!

    September 13, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  16. Andy Noel

    Curious why climate change is not being discussed in context with these huricans... Is it not obvious what's going on here? This is exactly the type of thing predictions have called for.

    September 13, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  17. Ryan

    Okay so Roy Wilkinson is safe, but what about all the other foolish people who decided to stay on, even after they were told that they could be facing "certain death"?

    September 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  18. Peter Newmarch

    it is truly a terrible thing when houses are destroyed. i have been watching events from Africa and am truly amazed that Americans still build wooden houses ?? (i mean this is a relic of the dark ages!). aside from the disastrous global warming issues of this (trees etc...) – when will people learn and build houses with brick ??

    September 13, 2008 at 1:40 pm |