Monday, May 21, 2007

Engraved Invitation to Destruction '07

It’s that time of year again when city officials flood the news media with hurricane preparedness features. I’m not going to bother going into the whole tired, fear-mongering “if you are planning on staying on the Island during a storm ... you might as well buy yourself a toe tag so we can identify your crab-eaten body when it washes up on the shore,” crap that they trot out every year, because Sam Wells has already done a brilliant job of skewering that thang to the wall in his blog.

No, I’ll content myself with harping on the “How the hell does the city have the nerve to lecture me about hurricane preparedness when they persist in scraping a canal at the end of my street to ensure that even a mild storm surge will have no problem finding its way to my front door” crap.

Yeah, I’m tired of it too but I am even more tired of the officials’ empty promises that something is going to be done about it. Yet another year has come and gone since I last complained about this and the city is still blithely knocking down the best protection my neighbors and I might have from the upcoming storm season. I guess they are too busy trying to scare the hell out of us to actually take steps to protect us from the bad situation their folly has created.

To quote my May 29, 2006 blog entry:
This is not just my problem. The town is endangering the property of everyone who lives (close to Saturn or Venus) and I am surprised - after witnessing how the town handled the storm surges from Rita (in 2005) - that more people are not up in arms about this. Just to refresh your memory, city workers pushed up a loose sand berm at access #16 at least three different times during this surge, which had the unintended consequence of dispersing huge amounts of sand onto Gulf Blvd. and fouling up the sewer system in the process -- but did not seem to slow the surge down any; surf trash was deposited halfway up East Saturn.

Access #16 is not the only weak spot in the chain, but it is the one that I care most deeply about for admittedly selfish reasons. And I think the BOA needs to give serious thought to the possibility that the town could in fact be held liable for damages to private property if they are found to be a result of the town’s negligence in this matter.

Feel free to wrap your newly-purchased toe tag around that bit of fear-mongering.

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Blogger Sam said...

It's a big deal and nothing has happened and the solution is fairly cheap. All those public beach accesses, not only Neptune, have issues but nothing has happened since Katrina two years ago. Now that hurricane season is only a week away, I guess I feel pissed off. Mismanagement of the barrier beach could flood MY house on the bayside even without a freaking Cat 3 evacuation. The real war is not some folks on the BOA, folks. It is getting our Island ready for a heavy tropical storm. Public Works was supposed to upgrade all the pubic accesses a year ago and hasn't done dookie. Fix it please right now. /sam

8:51 PM  
Blogger Lucinda said...

Update: I forwarded this post to the aldermen, the major and three city officials -- and got two responses. Alderman-elect Kirk Mills noted he was unaware of the situation but would be looking into it. Alderwoman JoAnn Evans wrote the following:

"At the last BOA meeting we approved the contract for the drive over at Starlight and the walk over at Neptune.  The bid came in about $70,000 over budget, but we approved it with the hope of using beach maintenance $$$ (we need the drive over to get the maintenance equipment to the beach.) The engineering on this has been the delay -- the drive over ramp will be a "model" for Texas -- translate "first of its kind so we have to figure out how to do it and that takes time." I asked Mr. Morales about the construction timeline at the last beach and dune meeting. Completion is scheduled for September. I share your frustration with the delay. At least we are finally taking action to solve the problem."

Thanks for taking the time to respond, JoAnn. I am disappointed at the glacial pace, but encouraged to hear that the process is indeed moving forward.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Lucinda said...

Oops - meant "Mayor".

4:40 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Thanks to JoAnn, the "major," and you, Feets. I think you can call Bob "Sarge" if you want, as that would be more accurate - senior staff sargeant, non-commissioned.

I agree that few have ever attempted a measure like this, a drive-over beach hump. But if it get's delayed one can always get a few temporary highway concrete barriers and if a big one comes, push them over into place. If TxDOT would donate 2-3, the fiscal impacts would be zero.

2:46 PM  

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