The Texas City Dike – Post Ike

Many of Galveston County’s residents have not been able to see the dike because of the roadblocks.  A massive clean-up effort is going on there right now.  The other day I was given the opportunity to drive past the line and video some of the great damage.  A road filled with signs, bait camps, fishing piers, boat ramps, picnic tables, gazebos and beaches has been scoured.  Nothing is left.  All that remains is a piece of land that looks like the residue of an atomic bomb.  Check out the video.

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61 Comments

  1. I CANNOT believe the total devastation that the Dike sustained! All the landmarks that we grew up seeing are now gone, and to see the catastrophic beach erosion is truly unbelievable! All of us that grew up in Texas City can watch this and really get the full affect; piers gone, bait shops, gone, etc. M childhood was spent fishing off the jetties, crabbing, and wade fishing all along the Dike. Bonfires, camping out all weekend with family and friends. It truly is unbelievable. I guess it really could have been worse,as far as Texas City as a whole. Our little town was extremely fortunate that the levees held and protected us. Look at all the surrounding areas and the damage they sustained. We truly all are very fortunate in that aspect. Our Dike can be rebuilt, but all of us that grew up here will have the memories of what it was.

  2. all i can say is that the damage is something that all of us that grew up here will never forget. what a shame. so many memories gone forever.

  3. Kevin, thanks for the images. Incredible. I had no idea it was that bad. My dad was down in Galveston last week and was trying to describe the devastation but I couldn’t visualize how things could just be swept away.

  4. Since we’re no longer hearing anything about the aftermath of Ike, it’s easy to forget. Thanks for the reminder…get it out THERE!

  5. Amazing. We are so fortunate to have the Texas City levee in place to protect the community. It is so very tragic to see “The dike” destroyed by Hurricane Ike.

  6. Well, all we had was memories before, and now we’re geezers and that’s all we’ll EVER have from September on.

    I live in Alvin now, but when I bring my kids down to the dike, I’ll have to use even more descriptive words to convey what it used to be. Curl’s, Rilat’s and all the rest, are just colorful, intangible stories to them, but vivid warm-toned movies to my sister and I. How many times were we admonished to look where we walk so as not to step on the dead gafftops? How many cigars were smoked by Grandaddy sitting there talking to his brother? And my sister will always have the story about when Grandaddy killed that rat with his cane as it came up to her as a tiny child.

    1. Not to mention the bands at the lighted pier…The great burgers at Anita’s….The bonfires, the beach cruising…Knowing all the shrimpers out there….Me running 50-50…So many memory’s…..

  7. It sure is upsetting to see the dike destroyed. I grew up fishing and exploring on the dike. My husband and I have a boat, the dike was our launch site. My grandkids love to go to the dike for shells and fish also. I hear they are NOT going to open the dike, it cost to much money. The dike is a landmark and history of Texas City and it needs to be restored. If I had my choice between the dike and a bus system, I’d choose the dike. Texas City residents (and out of towners) want their dike back, Please!

  8. Thanks for the coverage. Absolutely shocking. I had faith to stay, that it wouldn’t be too bad here in Texas City. I may reconsider next time. Please let me know if I may be of any assistance for the rebuilding of this nostalgic and much loved area.
    Talk soon!
    A

  9. I grew up in Texas city and it a blessing that the town was safe. The dike was torn up after hurricane Alicia. I remember trying to drive it and see what it looked like. They had road blocks up because the road was gone in some parts. They rebuilt it and changed for the better with levees. Also Moses Lake use to flood half of the city past on the other side of 197 loop and I truely hope that did not happen again. I use to go out to the blue hole/green hole/or just plain water hole and see those huge spirals churning the water out. I see hope and the dike will be rebuilt soon. So many people enjoy it that live in the city.

  10. WOW – I was born here in 1956 and NEVER EVER have seen the Dike this devestated. It was always nice to take a Sunday drive out on the Dike, see the water, the shrimp boats, the sea birds, the people fishing. Thank God for our Levee system! Hopefully the Dike will once again be a wonderful area for fishing, boating and family outings.

  11. Having grown up on the Dike for the first 18 years of my life it bothers me that it has been destroyed. I only hope it will become bigger and better than it was before.

    KEN

  12. Thank you so very much for posting this. I worked in EMS for close to 20 years and loved Texas City. I used to get to work too eaely amd would drive out on the dyke. I loved it out there and used to go fishing on the lighted peir a lot of times before going home after a 24 or 48 hour shift,
    Again thank you’
    Wes Bryant

  13. I was raised in Texas City , and when I was younger My Brothers and I used to ride our bikes to the Dike and Fish besides Curls bait shop. Spent a lot of time along the dike.
    To see what Ike has done is unbelievable.
    I will always have memories to hold on too,and I know some day it will be rebuilt.
    Peggy

  14. Wow! I was born and raised in Texas City. When we were kids my Dad worked at Amoco it’s now B .P. He used to take us out there and we would swim and look at the big sharks the fisherman would catch. Does anybody remember that? We had seen jaws a dozen times and my Dad would let us stand by the sharks and big fish they would catch and he would take our pictures. Is the holiday inn still there, right in front of the entrance to the dike. When I was a teenager 86-90 we would drive out on the levee and park for our make out sessions ya know! I remember curly’s a bait camp us kids would frequent. The biggest thing I remember were the bon fire beer parties we had, we thought it was so cool out there. So wierd to see nothing there, no beach, no buildings:(

  15. Bill Stockwell and about 20 JC’s built the fish rack at the baseof the dike in 1973 as far as aI can tell, that is the only structure left standing. The old Jack Lawrance Park at the end washed away as well.

  16. Thanks for letting us follow along. There are no words to describe this devastation. The rush of memories from many years…from fishing, crabbing to learning to get up and over that hill at the stop sign in a standard without stalling, to Tackle Time, to going for a drive to encourage a baby to nap! Incredible….

  17. Unbelievable devastation! I’m crushed, and holding back tears over the loss of so much. Those bait camps were more than nostalgic memories – they were the source of a living for many families. As painful as it all is, this breakwater doubtlessly saved the bay communities from even worse destruction. I pray that the dike will be restored soon and that as many people as possible can resume their way of life. I’m thankful I had the chance to visit her a couple of years ago to reaffirm some of the fading memories of my childhood in Texas City. I salute the brave dike for her ultimate sacrifice on behalf of so many!
    Best wishes to all fellow TC residents, past and present,
    Mark

  18. I was up on Skyline Drive the other night but could not see the extent of the damage at the time. Sooooo many memories of the Texas City Dyke are flooding back right now, and I cannot believe that it is gone! Maybe one day, it will be re-built but I don’t see that happening for a VERY long time.

  19. It has been awful to watch from the NW and from other places in the world. I’m sure that many who are in the same situation that I am watched this storm on the news as it took down so many of the historical landmarks around our home town. This video just hurt. The memories … whew….may the town rebuild !!

    Write if you want – I can be reached at LJordan@bendcable.com. I’m in central Oregon USA.

    Hugs to all…….

    ME

  20. Charlie and I moved from Texas City in Jan.of 2006 to Sparta,Tenn.and
    are truly devasted at all the damage from Ike.We are so happy that we were
    not there,but so sad about those who lost so much.There could have been so many lives taken. May God Bless each and all of you.

  21. please come and take videos of San Leon, We have lost 63% of our Township, it really looks desolate, you may pass a house where all you can see if the roof because it collapsed on top of the rest of the house.
    As the mobil homes are torn down you can see from 12 th street to Galveston Bay all the way to Dickinson Bay, it is almost erie.
    We are the ones they called “in the un-incorperated area” we were not forgotton, just denied the press of Bolivar and Galveston.
    Please come and take photos for all to see.
    Thank you, and God bless us All
    Gwen Bailey

  22. That is one of the saddest things I have ever seen. I grew up playing on that dike just like everone else that has left messages and I can’t believe it’s gone.

  23. In a way I am thankful for the video and info, since the first report was the dike was completely washed away. I grew up in Texas City and have alot of fond memories about the TC Dike. I am confident it will be rebuilt even nicer than it was. Can we get a new Holiday Inn built there?

    1. I am glad I am not crazy. I have been trying to figure out where that holiday inn was by the dike. We used to stay there when I was a kid, but I have driven up and down that street a hundred times trying to find it, since I moved down here, can you tell me where it was and does anyone have a picture of it? When and why was it torn down?

  24. I have lived in this area all my life. My son “Dillon” worked at Anita’s Bait Camp for the past 3 summers. Dillon loved working out there and he loved fishing off the dock behind Anitas after his shifts. As a child my dad used to take us fishing on the Dyke. It is very sad to see the damage to our Community caused by the IKE Hurricane. I pray the Texas City Dyke will be restored and for the people who lost their homes and/or businesses due to IKE. This experience has been a devastating time for all of us.

  25. Unbelievable devastation. I grew up in Texas City and my dad owned a bait camp called C&C Tackle just on the bay side of the levy so I spent a lot of time at the dike. Even though it had changed names the bait camp was still there but I guess it is gone now. The levy obviously saved the town. Hurricane Carla did not do this much damage to the dike as I recall. I hope it gets rebuilt as it was a great place to spend time at as a kid.

  26. WOW! Thank you so much for posting this! I grew up in Texas City. We used to come down to The Dike to fish, and go out on the boat with my dad all of the time. I was scared of the super giant rats! Once, he took my brother and me down here on his motorcycle. It was really cool. So many memories… fishing, boating, camping, picnics….just all wonderful times with friends and family! I live in Friendswood now, but used to always visit The Dike, before Ike. It’s so sad that it’s gone, and I will surely miss it!

  27. Bro. Kevin, thanks for the video! I had only viewed a few pics of what was left. take care and know you are in not only your congregatons prayers but also the prayers of others in Christ…we love ya brother, keep on keepin’ on!!!! Larry Pugh

  28. For all of you right-wingers that listen to Rush Limbo and voted for W, Ike and Katrina should serve as a wake up call. Global Climate Change is real, it is here now, and it is being caused by man. Sadly, we have squandered the past 8 years with an oil man in office as the situation worsened and nothing was done to change our ways. You kept buying SUVs, power boats, and jet skis and spent your weekends burning fuel or watching NASCAR while supporting the worst president in the history of our country with his war of waste, and you pretended that nothing was happening. In another decade, much of the Gulf Coast will look just like this as the oceans rise and storms intensify in both power and frequency. Your overconsumption and willful ignorance have brought you nothing but destruction and despair with more to come. Yet still, you will tune in to Hannity and Limbo and do all you can to obstruct real change and any hope of a better future. How many more catastrophes like this will it take before you wake up and change your ways? Who knows – in this election, Texas was once again a red state and an embarrassment to the nation and the thoughtful people that are unfortunate enough to suffer living among you. Think about this – about 20% of Germans still supported Hitler after WWII, despite the terrible suffering he brought upon his people and the world – about the same number of you that continue to support the Republican party – no matter how ignorant and useless the candidates served upon you (see Sarah Palin). Good luck, but don’t expect the rest of us to feel much for you while you continue to refuse to recognize science and reality and won’t change your habits and attitudes. I was unfortunate enough to have grown up in that part of Texas, so I do know you and what you are not capable of – introspection, forward thinking, progressive government. Ann Richards, where are you when we need you to lead these sheep home?

  29. They will rebuild it.

    Unfortunately, the dike was already destroyed to a degree in that it had been taken over by illegal aliens and has not been like it used to be.

    Atleast now that is not an issue.

    They will rebuild it, but I doubt it will go back to being the mexican peninisula of Galveston bay.

  30. I am sorry to hear of the demolision of the Texas City Dike. I now live in central Texas in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. I raise Alpacas, Emu, Goats , Peacoccks, dogs, and cats. I used to go to the dike with my Malamutes and have a great time. Some may remember me as the one with 2 dogs tied to my waist! I’m so sorry you’ve lost your memories and landmark. I am greatful the dike did her job by saving 2 of my best friends. My prayers are with you always and hope ‘she’ is rebuilt. Un fortunately, I wasn’t able to see the devastastion, but have a good idea of what happened, as I spent a lot of time there when I lived in LaMarque.
    My prayers are with you, and may you all recover from this catastrophe.
    John O

  31. I owned the Lighted Fishing Pier at the end of the dike for 14 years. It was our only source of income. This loss has been very hard for me. All of my employee’s were like family to me. Never did I expect in a million years that hurricane IKE would be so cruel. I am moarning this loss along with all of you. My only comfort is knowing that GOD has a bigger plan.

    1. 7/14/09 Trisha have ya’ll heard any news of rebuilding?? will your pier come back??
      Been going to Texas City Dike since 1976 please reply and have a lovely day! God Bless

  32. I grew up in La Marque and visited the dike both as a teenager and as an
    adult who brought his kids out to fish, just the way my dad did me and my brother when we were kids.

    I remember the dike after Carla and it was not torn up as it was after Ike.

    Oh the dike may be rebuilt, but the memories of what it once was remains in my heart and mind.

    I doubt it will ever be what it once was.

    The pier on the end of the dike was a landmark to fishermen like George Davis, “Mr Flounder Man”, Kenny May and so many others I fished with
    throughout my years growing up.

    No one could ever through a July celebration like the sponsors did and the fireworks that one could see miles away.

    Jim Sikes who owned the pier at the end was a friend to so many.

    C & C Bait camp was owned by a friend who was a referee to many a basketball game my school was involved in.

    Dahls camp was special to me for the owner was a retired boilermaker my
    dad worked with. He survived the Monsanto explosion from what I was told. He walked out of the plant with one arm severed but was carrying an injured person over his shoulder with his one good arm.

    The early doctors that practiced in Texas City, i.e. Dr. Henry Schmidt, Dr. Reeves, Dr. Green, Dr. Obryan and others could tell stories of how they started their practices serving the residents of Texas City and yes, the many fish hooks they had to remove from patients fishing off of the dike.

    The funeral homes there was started after the Monsanto explosion for so many folks died.

    Yes, the dike will be missed but I can cling to her memories the rest of my life.

  33. Fished many a weekend off the end and around the dike. All the bait camps we used to hit on the way out to the boat launch. All gone. Lots of jet ski trips. Give you chills to look at now. Thanks Kevin!

  34. What a mess; thanks for bringing me up to date on a memorable childhood haunt – I hope it’ll be rebuilt in our lifetime.

  35. I have lived in Texas City since 1945 and this is so heartbreaking to see. So many wonderful summers have been enjoyed by my family and friends on the Texas City Dike.
    I have known the people that owned the bait camps for years. It is so very hard to put into words how you feel about something so destroyed that has always been such a part of our lives and enjoyment.

  36. Are you the same family that took over the old Tradewinds Movie Theater? A friend of mine sent me this video we grew up hanging out on the dike the destruction is unbelievable. We live in
    East Texas now trying to make a life here now.

      1. 7-14-09 Is there any news on a reopening of the Texas City Dike??
        We watched your video, great info please let us know what you can. Thank you and have a lovely day!

      2. Not much happening on it. People are pretty put out. There doesn’t seem to be any progress. Rumor is that it won’t reopen. I find that hard to believe. Maybe I can do an update when I hear something. Thanks for writing. Stay in touch. KH

  37. Sad to see the dike like this – had many great times out there with my kids and friends. Hopefully it can be rebuilt.

  38. Ed and I have birded the DIKE for years. He family lived in TC and weathered many a storm but without this kind of devistation. Even the great storms like Carla didn’t do this kind of damage.
    When Ed’s Mom died two years ago we held a Memorial for her at the end of the DIKE as that was one of her favorite places growing up as a child and later living in TC as an adult. We thank you for this posting. It makes the loss of our old home in Bolivar a little more bareable.
    Ed and Lyn Hunter

  39. I had heard how bad is was until i recieved this n an email today. Texas City is my hometown and I was just devestated to see the destruction. Esp. to the dike, I have so many wonderful memories from out there. Tx. City owes it to the community to rebuild, let all the people for generations to come enjoy it too…..Bawling my eyes out….wanna come home and start the rebuild myself!

  40. Bawling my eyes out, Tx. City is my hometown, and I have wonderful memories of being out on the dike…TX. CITY OFFICIALS, YA’LL NEED TO GET THIS FIXED, OR MAYB WE’LL ALL GET TOGETHER AND DO IT FOR OURSELVES…(oh yea, we aren’t even allowed on there)…DEVESTATED, REALLY BUMMED OUT.

  41. Anyone remember Buster’s Bait shop that was located at the beginning of the Texas City Dike? His wife’s name was Leona.

  42. I grow up on the Texas city dike. Every year my hole family would go spend the hole day on the dike for 4th of July and i can rememeber spending my week ends out there to.My dad was a shrimper and so we spent many days and nights out there. i will miss not being able to bring my grandsons on the dike all i can do is tell them my stories.

  43. Thanks for the wholesome voice. My neighbour and I were preparing to do some analysis about that. We got a nice book on that matter from our local library and many books were not as informative as your blog. I am pleased to detect such information which I was searching for a long while. 🙂

  44. Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of
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  45. I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this information for my mission.

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