STORM2K • View topic - Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?

Find the Weather for any
City, State, Zip Code, or ICAO

 
 

It is currently Sun Nov 23, 2014 2:40 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next  Last
Author Message
 Post subject: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:53 pm 
Offline
Category 5
Category 5
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:02 pm
Posts: 1293
Location: Lake Worth, Florida
Was there some new building code? I see pictures where a house is standing wheras all the surrounding houses are gone. Do the construction techniques differ that much?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:10 pm 
Offline
S2K Supporter
S2K Supporter
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2002 7:36 pm
Posts: 1023
Location: No. Naples, Fl (Vanderbilt Beach area)
I don't pretend to know anything about the building codes but the house of which you speak is most likely the one in Gilchrist. It was build to be "hurricane proof" and apparently lived up to its purposes. As some pointed out in the Ike discussion thread, although the house is standing, there is no way to be sure it is one the right lot! There is quite a bit of information about it in the above mentioned thread including several different pictures taken from different viewpoints. Also, there is a link to the Bolivar Chamber of Commerce brochures (pre Ike) showing the home in its original setting.

Hope this helps.

Lynn


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:33 am 
Offline
Category 5
Category 5
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:02 pm
Posts: 1293
Location: Lake Worth, Florida
It is not just a house. It is the pictures where there is a house surrounded by empty lots, than another house some distance away surrounded by empty lots.... etl...
I'll try to find a link.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:37 am 
Offline
Category 5
Category 5
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:50 pm
Posts: 1055
Location: Austin
Here's a link - it's picture 11


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:40 pm 
Offline
Tropical Depression
Tropical Depression
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:51 am
Posts: 57
DanKellFla wrote:
Was there some new building code? I see pictures where a house is standing wheras all the surrounding houses are gone. Do the construction techniques differ that much?


Yes, there are newer building codes in place. Some of the older homes were closer to the ground, and in some cases there were living areas on the ground floor, homes that had been grandfathered to not have to be in compliance with the code. The older structures in coastal communities were the hardest hit, and in many cases have been lost completely. A portion of the building codes deals with the thickness of the pilings and minimal height, but I am unable to provide specifics.

To answer your question which I think concerns Bolivar Peninsula, there were many, many older structures over there, plus that area received a storm surge around 23 feet. Little is going to stand in that instance.

Despite new building codes, there were new front row homes that were completely destroyed in various locations. There are just no guarantees of anything when it comes to hurricane winds and storm surge. Regardless, front row homes in most cases are either gone or now owned by the state of Texas.

Texas has an open beach law which stipulates homes be built behind the vegetation line, and grants the public access to all beaches. Even if a home survived in tact with minimal damage, and that home is now in front of the vegetation line, it no longer belongs to the owner, and must be removed as it is in violation of the open beaches law. It's a risk people in Texas take who want to build at the beach.

I'd heard from KHOU TV in Houston that in the past, there was some laxity in enforcement of the law, but that it will likely not continue.

I have a relative who lived at Jamaica Beach on the third row. It was an older structure, and I have my doubts it is still standing. Prior to Hurricane Alicia, it had been a 4th row home, and moved up to the third row. If it still standing, it's likely to now be legally front row or perhaps second row.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:52 pm 
Offline
S2K Supporter
S2K Supporter
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:06 pm
Posts: 837
Location: Mobile, AL
Please note that pictures can be very deceiving. My family had a house on the west end of Dauphin Island for twenty years (we had to rebuild it 4 times!). When we saw pictures of the house after Hurricane Frederic, it was from the street and it appeared the house had made it through well. However, when my brother-in-law managed to get over there, he discovered that the front (side away from the street) was completely gone-- gnawed away by the storm surge and waves. Some houses appeared okay, but when you looked closer you noticed the pilings were leaning or the house was tilted on the pilings. Houses on barrier islands are just so vulnerable. Thank goodness we no longer have the house on Dauphin Island. It's beautiful there, but we just couldn't take the stress!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:27 pm 
Offline
Category 5
Category 5
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:02 pm
Posts: 1293
Location: Lake Worth, Florida
Check it out:

http://www.ireport.com/blogs/ireport-bl ... e-standing


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:34 pm 
DanKellFla wrote:


They lost their palm trees, and they'll need to rebuild the front stairs. But they should have lots of solitude for a while before people start building again around them.

Image


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:53 pm 
Offline
Category 5
Category 5
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:50 pm
Posts: 1055
Location: Austin
Looking at all the pictures I have seen of this house I have a feeling it's going to take more than rebuilding the stairs.

In bigger pictures you can tell that some of the windows are gone (The half circle on the top floor for instance) and they'll need a new roof. That plus the time it takes them to get out there to start says water/mold.

But the bigger problem is the foundation - it looks like the sand under it has washed away in places ... no telling what's going on there with pipes (water, gas and sewer) and support for the foundation itself.

All in all though, it did fare better than all the rest of the houses.

I wonder how they will determine the vegetation line when all the vegetation seems to have been scoured off? (You can only build behind the vegetation line in Texas coastal areas. If the vegetation retreats, the houses can't be rebuilt)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:40 pm 
Offline
Category 5
Category 5
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:31 am
Posts: 2311
Location: Houston, TX
The house is still a total loss. It got some airtime on CNN, and when they went inside the house the inside was completely wrecked by the flood waters.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:45 am 
Offline
Category 5
Category 5
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:02 pm
Posts: 1293
Location: Lake Worth, Florida
There was some mention about the laws that Alicia83 brought up in the news today. Now comes the years of legal arguments defining the vegatation lines and what the insurance companies really insured.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:54 am 
Offline
Category 5
Category 5
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 2:05 pm
Posts: 18154
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Actually this Texas law has been on the books since 1959. From the looks of things there are a lot of people that aren't going to be able to rebuild. Apparently there was a fund that gave home owners 50,000.00 when there home was taken but there seems to be questions as to whether that fund is still available.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:37 am 
Offline
Category 5
Category 5
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:50 pm
Posts: 1055
Location: Austin
It's the 1959 Open Beaches Act.

Basically it was written so all Texas beaches are open to everyone - so developers etc can't buy up beachfront property and put in houses with a private beach.

From what I can tell, it takes a year to determine where the new vegetation line is - the beach has to go thru 4 seasons. In the cases where the house is destroyed totally, homeowner's insurance will pay for the destroyed house. If the house is still standing and not totaled then the homeowner has a problem because if it's now on the beach, they just lose it without getting any money (if that fund is empty). It's on paperwork when you buy a beach house - on title paperwork, loan paperwork etc so it shouldn't be a surprise.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:41 am 
My wife's grandfathers trailer got moved around by Ike some, and knocked into their utility building, and the deck fell over some, but it looks like it survived. It is the cream colored one that doesn't look badly damaged in this CNN video.


Maybe "Popo" (that is what we call my wife's grandfather, or "Way-Low") and I will be doing tequila shots at Jamaica Beach again next Summer.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/weather/2008/09/15/vo.tx.ike.trailer.park.ktrk?iref=videosearch


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:11 pm 
Offline
Category 5
Category 5
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:02 pm
Posts: 1293
Location: Lake Worth, Florida
The lonely house.....




http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/09/18/ike.la ... index.html


Their house survived Ike, but it's the only one left
Story Highlights
Couple's house is only one left standing in section of Gilchrist, Texas

Hurricane Ike flattened most of town's 200-some homes

Columns hold couple's house 14 feet above ground

Couple had lost a house to Hurricane Rita three years ago

By Jason Hanna
CNN

(CNN) -- Warren and Pam Adams lost a house to Hurricane Rita in 2005, so it seems they'd be relieved to learn their new home withstood Hurricane Ike.

But not when their house is the only one still standing in their section of Gilchrist, Texas.

Ike's storm surge last week devastated the Bolivar Peninsula town, flattening most of the roughly 200 homes there. The couple's yellow house at the beach -- supported 14 feet off the ground by wooden columns -- was the only house on Gilchrist's Gulf Coast side not to be flattened.

"As we got there, the tears started flowing," Warren Adams, 63, said Thursday after his first visit to the home since evacuating. "There's a yellow house sitting there, but that's all. It was devastating."

Although the house is there, it might not continue to stand. Huge storm surges walloped the interior, making it uninhabitable and destroying many belongings.

Appliances, furniture, and a grandfather clock were some of the many things rendered useless. Warren and Pam, two of the beach town's several hundred permanent residents before Ike, spent part of Thursday salvaging what they could and lamenting the destruction of their friends' homes. Watch homeowner say house may not be salvageable »

"It looked like somebody had dropped a bomb," Warren Adams said. "If my house wasn't there, I wouldn't have been able to recognize where I was even at."

The Adams home hadn't been the only one on stilts. In fact, columns elevated many of Gilchrist's houses, but some houses were only a few feet off the ground, Warren Adams said.

The survival of the couple' house, where they started living in April of last year, caused a stir on the Internet. Helicopter pilot Ray Asgar shot some photos of the house from the air and submitted them to CNN's iReport.com. Some who wrote comments about the photos questioned whether they were authentic. iReport.com: See photos, comments

Aaron Reed, a spokesman with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, confirmed that only the Adams' home survived on that Gulf-side beach.

"I thought, if I were to ever build a house on the coast, I'm going to contact the guy who built this," Reed said.

He also said a few other houses on the other side of town were still standing.

Adams said many of Gilchrist's homes were built before current building codes, and weren't elevated or not elevated nearly as high as his.

The couple owned one of those older houses -- on the same lot where their new home now stands. Hurricane Rita destroyed the older one three years ago.

Determined to stay because they loved the beach, the couple decided to build something that stood a much better chance of withstanding a strong hurricane.

Adams, a retired electrical designer, had a Galveston, Texas, engineering firm oversee a contractor as his new house was built.

The columns put the house's bottom floor 14 feet above ground, or about 22 feet above sea level. Despite that, Ike's storm surge managed to get in.

"Can we always beat Mother Nature? No," Adams said. "Mother Nature can be much stronger."

Adams said roughly $300,000 was spent on the house -- the original house payment was $180,000, then he did add-ons/improvements totaling $115,000. And yes, they are insured.

Adams said he and his wife almost waited too long to leave the house last week. They boarded the windows and went to bed on the night of September 11 thinking they'd rise at 5:30 a.m. to evacuate.

But he said that shortly after midnight -- more than 24 hours before Ike's center would make landfall -- the effects of the storm were hitting. He awoke to see Pam, 53, out on the deck, crying.

"I said, 'What's wrong?' She said, 'Water is coming up on the road,' " he recalled.

So they left at 3:20 a.m. -- not a moment too soon, said Pam Adams' sister, Judy Hudspeth. Watch sister talk about what Pam, Warren Adams have been through »

Hudspeth, who spoke with Pam, said the couple encountered a sheriff's officer as they left the peninsula.

"[Pam] said, 'I almost waited too long,' and the officer told them, 'Yes, ma'am, you did. You're really lucky, and you need to get out,'" Hudspeth, who lives in Richmond, Texas, recalled.

The couple and their two dogs are staying with friends and relatives, and they could get a rental house, Warren Adams said. But ultimately they'd like to return to Gilchrist if the county will allow people to rebuild there.

"I know there's a chance you'll face hurricanes, but that's the chance you take," Adams said.

Adams, who has battled cancer, said he hopes he doesn't have to wait long for the government's decision.

"If we can rebuild, a lot of people will rebuild," he said. "If we can't, tell us that we can't. The sooner we can get this behind us, the better."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:36 pm 
Offline
S2K Supporter
S2K Supporter

Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:12 am
Posts: 642
Location: walton county fla
:roll: Why in the world would anyone build near the coast?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:07 pm 
lonelymike wrote:
:roll: Why in the world would anyone build near the coast?



For one thing, when it is 35º in Houston, it might only be 30º at the beach. Great place for the American tradition of BBQ. Water is nice and warm, and we often surf fish. We didn't usually sleep over, but my in-laws and my wife's grandparents sometimes did. Fresh salt air, pelicans, palm trees.


Anyway, my wife's grandfather's trailer doesn't look too bad from the air, but it probably had salt water inside. Not sure if it can be salvaged.


And Texas isn't like Florida. A hurricane like that does not happen every year. I see this house was a replacement for a house lost during Hurricane Rita, but the last big storm to hit Galveston was 25 years ago.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:35 am 
Offline
S2K Supporter
S2K Supporter
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 1616
Location: SW Mississippi....Alaska transplant via a Southern Belle.
The home was obviously well engineered. As we learned from Katrina......there are weather situations that will destroy the best buildings. This home had everything done correctly.......and beach erosion finished the job. Beautiful home. Very unfortunate for the owners.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:03 am 
Offline
ChatStaff
ChatStaff
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 10:30 pm
Posts: 3538
Location: Eastern Dallas County, TX
Question: How did their first home manage to get wiped out by Hurricane Rita, if Gilchrist is located over by Galveston Bay on Rita's WEST side?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why did some houses remain standing in Galveston?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:18 am 
somethingfunny wrote:
Question: How did their first home manage to get wiped out by Hurricane Rita, if Gilchrist is located over by Galveston Bay on Rita's WEST side?


From personal observation and looking at NWS HGX reports, despite the center of Ike passing w/i about 10 miles of my house, and Rita landfalling in Lousiana, winds near where I live where almost as strong from Rita as they were from Ike, and their pre-Rita home was not hurricane resistant, as they hired a contractor to build them a more hurricane resistant house, to prevent a reoccurence.

Bolivar looks like it had ballpark 4 to 5 feet of surge, but wave action on top of that could have done damage, and wind gusts were strong enough to damage more poorly built structures.

Image


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next  Last

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group