Series of Events Celebrate 1 year After Ike on Galveston Island
Revival and Reflections- September 8-13, 2009
GALVESTON, Texas (July 13, 2009) – Galveston Island has reached a number of significant milestones through its recovery from the 20 foot storm surge and 110 mph winds brought by Hurricane Ike. In celebration of the Island’s swift recovery the city is hosting a series of events called “Revival and Reflections,” commemorating the year of dedication and resiliency, Sept. 8 through Sept. 13.
“We realized early on that virtually everything in Galveston needed to be fixed and that Ike left nothing in this community untouched,” said Betty Massey, chair person of the Galveston Island Recovery Committee, helping to organize the events. “We knew right away that we wanted to be a stronger, more resilient community and these events will celebrate the hard work we have put forth to make Galveston a better place.”
The week long series of events begins on Sept. 8, the 109th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1900, and will continue through Sept. 13, marking Hurricane Ike’s arrival. There will be a variety of events from giving thanks to the first responders at the United Way luncheon, commemoration ceremonies, a showing of the Ike Documentary, live entertainment and art projects, to various tours of the Island’s progress. A full list of events can be found on http://www.galveston.com/.
Virtually all structures on the Island were impacted by the hurricane causing more than $3.2 billion in damage to housing, infrastructure, beaches, and businesses, as well as tourism related properties and attractions. Recovery on the Island has been progressive; 1.6 million cubic yards of debris has been removed and 19,379 building permits have been processed. More than 75% of Galveston’s population has returned and 110,000 volunteer hours have been spent on recovery projects.
The all important tourism business, bringing in $800 million economic impact annually to the Island, is back in full swing with the majority of hotels open, all but two attractions remain closed and the first phase of a $10 million beach nourishment project complete. A plethora of new businesses have opened and 75% of businesses have already returned to the Island. Various areas of the University of Texas Medical Branch have reopened and the emergency room is planning to reopen in August. These milestones and accomplishments are the reason for the celebration of Galveston Island.
“Revival and Reflections, marking the first anniversary of Hurricane Ike, will celebrate the progress made and motivate the community to continue making the Island a better place for all,” said Massey.