First Look After Ike Trashes West Galveston Island

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

Residents in western Galveston island were told to leave before the rest of the island was, but as search and rescuers are finding out, several people chose to stay anyway.

"Its just scarey. Its worse than any horror movie you could ever watch or go to," said Elizabeth Madison," a Jamaica Beach resident who survived Ike from her home.

Sunday, as some homes on Galveston Island sat in ruin, urban search and rescuers from Texas Task Force 1 and the National Guard moved in. Trying to find residents who couldn't or didn't leave before Ike, but had since changed their minds.

"The house rocked and when the waves got under there it was a nightmare. Anyway you look at it was just, it was just scarey," said Madison. "I wouldn't want to do it again. You couldn't pay me that much money."

Places in western Galveston island like those in Jamaica Beach were hit especially hard because the seawall doesn't extend that far west.

Robert Lester can attest to that.

"It totally brought somebody's pier into the yard here," said Lester.

The water was so high on Friday, everything on the garage level of his house was ruined, including his trucks.

"I thought I was gonna die but about three -o-clock in the morning I put on my BC- I scuba Dive, and just say thats it, the house is going down," said Lester.

Instead, he says it was neighbors bearing the brunt.

"You could see houses in Jamaica Beach, a staircase going by," said Lester.

Although the National Guard offers to take Lester to a shelter, he declines. He didn't leave before Ike, and he's not leaving after.

Those who choose to stay are being told expect no running water for another two to three weeks.


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