Bolivar Reflects

This weekend is one of remembrance for folks on Bolivar Peninsula. Along with looking back on the nation’s tragedy of 9-11 — they’re also looking back at their community one year ago when Hurricane Ike ravaged nearly all of the homes and businesses in the area. Laurie Johnson has more.

“It seems like just yesterday in one sense, and then in another sense it’s like wow it has been a year. You know it’s bittersweet, I guess.”

That’s Cindy Rodriguez, a Boliver resident who has lived on the peninsula her entire life. Her home was destroyed in the hurricane. She and her family live in a FEMA trailer while they rebuild on their property.

Rodriguez is the school secretary at Bolivar’s Crenshaw School. She says the school reopened last February and 49 out of 183 students returned.

“There was some talk through the community, rumors, that the school would not reopen and when it did it was great joy for all of us. And then the families did start filtering back in like we had anticipated. So we’re looking forward to hopefully 200 by the end of the school year.”

As of now, 98 students, less than half the original student body, are back at the campus.

That’s because so many of Bolivar’s families have yet to return to the damaged peninsula.

“There’s been progress. I mean yes all the piles of debris that seem to have been there forever are finally gone. However, there is still a lot of work left to be done. And because we were back in the community much later than many on the island some of our work is just beginning. Many people have settled with their insurance companies, very recently there’s been a lot of delay in that, so a lot of people are still working very hard rebuilding.”

Sunday marks the official one year anniversary of Hurricane Ike’s landfall.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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