NOAA has posted high-resolution satellite images of the areas affected by Ike.
I’ve been to Galveston regularly since my pre-school days, but I don’t have it memorized by any means. I’m not completely certain I’m in the right place, but the mass of wreckage on the beach road could be the remains of the Balinese Room, and a popular souvenir shop that must have been around most of my life.
I have never been in the Balinese Room, but it was apparently quite popular. All that’s left in the picture is some pilings in the water. The mostly intact building to the SW may be the Flagship Hotel. I guess I should have paid more attention to things over the years.
[ This seems to be a better image of the area of the Flagship:
From Google Maps, I guessed right about the hotel. The Balinese was evidently at the end of a long boardwalk—-all that’s left now is a long string of piers in the water. I don’t know the names of the other buildings to do a reverse lookup on the Google satellite search. There’s a building completely missing, and a “U”-shaped building with a blue roof that’s still partly there in the post-storm images. I think one of them was the souvenir shop whose name I don’t remember. ]
But Galveston fared better than coastal communities on the east side of the hurricane’s center:
This is from Point Bolivar:
Many of the houses near the Gulf side are completely smashed. The ferry landing should be somewhere around here, but I can’t figure out where to look for it.
[Oh, the ferry landings are in this image, and appear to be okay:
Further east along Tx Hwy. 87, is Caplen and Gilchrist
Here even the debris of many of the houses is gone! This is a narrow part of the peninsula, and eveything must have been swept into Galveston Bay. The highway bridge on Hwy. 87 has been brushed aside by the storm surge like a toy.
To fully appreciate the extent of the damage, it is helpful to look at the Google Maps Satellite images of what was there before the hurricane:
(if the link doesn’t actually work, search the map engine for Galveston, Point Bolivar, and so on.)
There were some earlier reports that the famous Point Bolivar lighthouse had been destroyed—they seem to have been premature.