Wednesday, December 31, 2008


From: Mark Gassit <>Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2008


I was hoping for some help? My Mother was Jennifer Mclemore, a hurricane Ike victim identified on nov. 25th.
I am her son Mark Gassiot. My problem is that my mother worked for UTMB in Galveston for 20+ yrs. In that time she worked with a very large number of people staff and patients. She was a very caring person and treated all that she knew with a special care. UTMB has laid off 3000+. Hurricane Ike, has displaced almost everyone in her local area. I am asking if it would be possible to run a story for her funeral arrangements because she touched so many people's lives that we have no way of contacting. Her home was in Gilchrist Tx. Her office was on the first floor of the hospital which was flooded so were having a very hard time putting together lists of friends names or #'s. I know over the years she has kept in touch with so many ppl that she has come in contact with through the hospital. Her cell phone would have been a great help.
I just don't want people to have been left out that knew her. I don't have a lot of money to run a big ad and she was in contact with so many ppl. from Galveston, Beaumont, Houston--all over this area.
Please if you can help? Pass this story on to anyone that will run it. Trying to set a date for a funeral ASAP. You can publish this email. I set up an email for contact info @ . I'll check it regularly.

Thanks Mark


To all of you wonderful residents and empathizers of the Bolivar Peninsula Community:

I apologize for not updating the blog for the past month! My family has been planning a wedding, holidays (with everyone being displaced) and now, hopefully, we will be able to move part of the family back to Texas. I think we may actually get a FEMA trailer on my parent's lot in High Island!

Again, I most humbly apologize for letting my life take over my civic duties to the public. I DO think that it is important for all of us to stay connected while we can as we attempt to put our lives back together. God bless to each and everyone of you and may you be blessed with Good Health, Prosperity and Reverence in the coming New Year!

Happy New Year!!!
Connie Tomerlin
GCA Webmaster

Monday, November 10, 2008

This Is A Heart Touching Story!--Go Cardinals!!! November 9, 2008

This is a VERY well-written story. It made me tear up. I thought you would appreciate it!

Woman's Body Found in Chambers County

Article in the Galveston Daily News:

Woman's Body Found in Chambers County: likely Ike Victim


Thanks, Vanessa, for sending this article:

Body found of possible Ike victim
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Nov. 4, 2008, 12:01AM

Search dogs have uncovered a body that Hurricane Ike may have washed from the Bolivar Peninsula into Chambers County, authorities said.
Justice of the Peace Tracy Woody said the body was discovered about 1:30 p.m. Sunday in a large debris pile about four miles from East Galveston Bay.
"The body was in a wooded marshy area near Pine Island off FM 562," he said.
Investigators could not give the gender or any description of the victim because of the extreme state of decomposition. The remains were sent to Jefferson County morgue for identification.
According to records, 40 people from the Galveston-Bolivar area have died so far from the hurricane. Nine of those victims washed ashore or were found in debris piles days after the storm hit on Sept. 13. Thirteen others still remain missing, authorities said.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Furniture Bank, Star Furniture team up to help storm victims

From Star Furniture
Oct. 27, 2008, 11:51AM
Star Furniture is teaming up with The Furniture Bank of Houston to help Hurricane Ike victims rebuild their lives.
Star Furniture will collect furniture donations outside of its Houston-area locations 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 8. The Furniture Bank, 2100 Hussion St., will work with area human service agencies and charities to distribute the donations to families who’ve lost their belongings in the hurricane.
“We are happy to do whatever we can to help our community,” Star Furniture Advertising Director Mike Galloway said. “Having been in Houston since 1912, we’re all family in that regard.”
The Furniture Bank is looking forward to working with Star Furniture to help families in need, said Oli Mohammed, The Furniture Bank’s founder and executive director. “Nobody thinks about furniture after a disaster,” Mohammed said. “Food, clothing: people think of that.”
While hurricane victims can use furniture of any kind, they especially need beds, dinning room tables with chairs and dressers, Mohammed said. “Without a bed, a dining room table and a dresser to put clothing in, life gets very difficult,” he said.
Todd Sweeney would agree. He spent more than a month living in shelters after Hurricane Ike forced him out of his Port Bolivar home. In mid-October, after Sweeney re-located to a Houston apartment, The Furniture Bank gave him a new start.
“It makes a world of difference,” Sweeney said. “We’re ecstatic.”
Volunteer Gerry Lang of the Bolivar Peninsula has been working with St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church of High Island to identify area residents like Sweeney who can benefit from the Nov. 8 furniture drive.
“If you can give someone some normalcy, something to sleep on, something to eat on, it gives people a shot at life again,” Lang said.
Star Furniture will be accepting furniture at the following sites Nov. 8:
7111 FM 1960 W., 281-586-1900
6868 Southwest Freeway, 713-781-7200
19660 U.S. 59-Sugar Land, 281-342-7827
I-45 at NASA Road 1, Webster, 281-338-2471
16666 Barker Springs Road, 281-492-5494
16515 North Freeway, 713-695-7827
Those who cannot participate Nov. 8 still can make a positive difference, Mohammed said. “Any day they want to bring in furniture, they can call The Furniture Bank, and a truck will pick it up,” he said.
To schedule a donation, call 713-842-9771 or 832-863-1996.
The Furniture Bank, an independent, nonprofit agency, collects and distributes furniture free of charge to people in need that have received housing assistance through a social service agency or charity.
For more information, e-mail

Problems with staffing, medical records, decay slow ID process

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Oct. 29, 2008, 8:38AM

• Oct. 25: An older white male found on a jetty near Port Bolivar.
• Oct. 6: A white male, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-10, found on Goat Island.
• Oct. 4: Elderly woman, 4-foot-11 to 5-foot-2, with missing teeth and possible limp, found on Goat Island.
• Sept. 28: Woman, 30 to 50 years old, 4-foot-10 to 5-foot-1, wearing a black Bally jog bra and a white sock, has one webbed toe and a 7-inch abdominal scar, found on Pelican Island.
If you have information about a Hurricane Ike missing person, call the Laura Recovery Center at 866-898-5723 or 281-482-5723. To arrange to submit DNA samples or supply dental or medical X-rays, call the Galveston County Medical Examiner at 409-935-9274.
It took 18 days for the Galveston medical examiner's office to positively identify the body of 33-year-old Shane Williams by using a partial fingerprint from his index finger — just one of several complications hindering efforts to identify nameless Hurricane Ike victims in the county morgue.
The work has been stymied by limited investigative manpower, the deteriorated condition of the bodies, scattered families, and obstacles in obtaining dental and medical records from doctors in Galveston whose offices are still closed.
''It doesn't matter who is in the freezer at the ME's office, but they need to be identified and the families need to be told," said Fred Walters, who is Shane Williams' half brother and is still looking for his missing mother and grandmother. "It seems to me there should be a better way."
So far, Galveston Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Pustilnik has elected to tackle cases with his own team rather than asking for assistance from special federal forensics experts who can be deployed in disasters.
''Right now, (bodies) are coming in at a rate we can handle," said Pustilnik, who has worked with federal disaster teams. "We have access to an anthropologist, an odontologist, we have X-rayed the bodies, we have DNA kits here. If the county starts excavating debris and finding bodies left, right and sideways — I'll call them."
Four more bodies considered to be Bolivar Peninsula storm victims remain unidentified and at least 15 people from the area remain missing. The latest body was discovered Saturday by fishermen on a jetty off Port Bolivar.
Galveston County emergency management officials are just now seeking bids for a contractor to follow up in excavating debris piles that could hold additional bodies based on preliminary searches by cadaver dog teams.
Dental records help out
Williams' body was among three found by searchers among alligators and storm debris on uninhabited Goat Island on Oct.3. Investigators tentatively identified him based on his age, size and long hair. They got a partial print from his index finger, but it took three experts to make sure the print matched an older smudged fingerprint. The confirmation came last week.
Williams disappeared Sept. 12 when he attempted to evacuate from Port Bolivar around dawn with his mother, his 79-year-old grandmother, and two neighbors. The others remain missing.
John Florence, spokesman for the Galveston County Medical Examiner's office, has urged families of all Ike missing persons to try to locate dental records and X-rays or to submit DNA samples.
Records like fingerprints or X-rays — once obtained — could confirm identities quickly. X-rays reveal unique structures in bones or teeth that can be used to identify bodies that otherwise appear unrecognizable. Verification through relatives' DNA samples would take longer.
Williams' family believes that one of the unidentified women could be his missing grandmother — Marion Violet Arrambide.
But they have so far been unable to obtain X-rays from a Galveston dental office, which was flooded and remains closed, or get medical records from the University of Texas Medical Branch, where Arrambide worked as a nurse for 28 years. The records office only recently reopened.
Because of privacy laws, doctors and dentists are sometimes reluctant to even confirm someone was a patient without a subpoena, family members said.
Similar obstacles beset another Jane Doe storm case, Florence said.
For several weeks, forensic investigators believed they had identified a woman whose body was found on Pelican Island last month. But when Florence was able to obtain 6-year-old X-rays at another storm-damaged Galveston dentist's office, they didn't match. Florence has had to start over.
Moving faster
Medical examiner officials are hoping to find an answer more quickly for the latest storm victim's body — an older white man found Saturday on a jetty by two fishermen looking for flounder.
Pustilnek said his office was able to obtain a thumbprint that — with luck — could be used to find a match with Texas drivers' licenses.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Unidentified Storm Victims--Help Us Identify Them! 10/27/2008
Unidentified storm victims:The ME’s office in Galveston Island cannot identify three people it has found in storm debris – two bodies found on Goat Island three weeks ago and one woman found dead on Pelican Island a month ago. When I talked to the ME’s office last week they told me that everyone with missing relatives or friends from the Bolivar Peninsula should try to locate dental x-rays (or if there are none, medical x-rays) to help with identification. They also need information on next-of-kin for all of the missing in case DNA is needed. Here’s a brief description of the three victims found:-The woman on Goat Island was elderly – perhaps in her 70s with few upper and lower teeth.-The man found there has little or no information for because of the condition of the remains. No age estimate available.-The woman found on Pelican Island was 30-50 years old (estimate) and short – 5” to 5’ 2” approximately. She was wearing a Bally jog bra, sized 34C and a white sock. She had a single webbed toe. She had a surgical scar on her stomach, approximately 7” long. Anyone who thinks this might be one of their friends or relatives, please let me know and I will try to help:
Lise Olsen
Special Projects
The Houston Chronicle

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ATTENTION: Please, Please, Please--If you have a close relative missing, contact officials at the Medical Examiners Office (409-935-9274) and give them samples of DNA so that more victims of Hurricane Ike can be identified!!! 10/23/2008
DNA needed to identify Hurricane Ike victims
08:06 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 22, 2008
CHRIS PASCHENKO / Galveston Daily News
GALVESTON, Texas -- The Galveston County Medical Examiner¹s Office began this week collecting bone samples to identify three victims of Hurricane Ike.
John Florence, a spokesman for the medical examiner, asked immediate family members who believe their relatives are missing from the hurricane to provide DNA samples for comparison.
The medical examiner would take oral swabs from close relatives, such as children, parents or siblings, to provide a DNA match, Florence said.
There were 15 people from Galveston County who died either directly or indirectly from the storm. Authorities have yet to identify two drowning victims, a man and woman found on a Goat Island earlier this month in debris piles. A third unidentified victim found on Pelican Island was a woman believed to be Paula Sue Mercer, but dental records proved otherwise, Florence said.
“We weren’t able to match them, and that’s why we have to rely on DNA,” Florence said.
Bone samples will be sent to the University of North Texas to compare DNA on the oral swabs, Florence said.
Call the Medical Examiner’s office at 409-935-9274 to give a DNA sample. 10/23/2008
How would I locate people who witnessed Ike’s destruction of Crystal Beach? Our house at 1983 Patton Beach Rd. off of Gulf Shores Drive was completely destroyed. Since we didn’t have flood insurance; the Ins. Co. says we have to prove that wind or tornadoes destroyed the house or they won’t pay. Do you know any witnesses that would be willing to swear to this?

The only way would be to contact some of the people that we have listed here on our website or our blog. My parents have wind and flood insurance, but so far no one has contacted them either way. Some, if not all of the people that stayed behind in Crystal Beach are fairly traumatized by their own experiences and may not be able to help either. I just hate when insurance companies turn an already devastating situation into and even uglier situation. I hope and pray that you get the help that you need. Our prayers are with you.
Connie Tomerlin
PS: If your insurance company still refuses to pay, then file for FEMA assistance. Do that right away! I believe the number is 1-800-621-FEMA and the website is . Hope this helps! 10/22/2008
Hi Connie,I hope that there has been some progress in Bolivar Peninsula's effort to rebuild. I did notice that in the Galveston Daily News that another victim of Ike has been identified: Shane Williams, age 33. are so many challenges in searching the debris piles. I pray that they will find a way to expedite the process. I can only imagine what the families of the missing are going through.
God Bless,

Chris Stange

Another Hurricane Drowning Victim Identified 10/22/2008

08:49 AM CDT on Wednesday, October 22, 2008
By Chris Paschenko / The Daily News
PORT BOLIVAR — The Galveston County Medical Examiner identified Tuesday the body of a man found in a debris pile deposited on Goat Island by Hurricane Ike.
Shane Williams, 33, of Port Bolivar was identified by the medical examiner by a partial fingerprint, which was obtained by the Sheriff’s Office, said John Florence, a spokesman with the Medical Examiner’s Office. Searchers found Williams’ body in a debris pile Oct. 3, Florence said. Williams had drowned, Florence said. The discovery of Williams’ identity brings the number of unidentified bodies to three, Florence said. The medical examiner may have to rely on dental records or even DNA to identify one woman found on Pelican Island and another man and woman found on Goat Island, Florence said.
Searchers found 15 people who were either in Galveston County or were county residents, who died either directly or indirectly from the storm. It isn’t known how many people stayed on Bolivar Peninsula to brave the storm surge, which inundated homes and businesses in Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach and Gilchrist. Some told amazing stories of how they clung to anything that would float until the surge subsided following the hurricane’s Sept. 13 landfall.
Chambers County Judge Jim Sylvia said one woman was found dead near a debris pile there, but six people were found alive and survived, he said.
Galveston County officials are formulating a search-and-recovery plan to resume picking through debris on the peninsula. Finding equipment and manpower for the job has proved challenge, however, and no restart date has been set. It is believed more bodies are buried in the debris fields of Goat Island, officials have said, based on hits by cadaver dogs before the search teams ceased their initial search phase.
This story is available through KHOU, Ch. 11's partnership with The Galveston County Daily News. 10/21/2008
add to found:Michael, Dawn Charlie and Cayleigh Anderson (Michael's A/C)Crystal BeachEvacuated to Winnie, TX google: mike anderson hurricane ike Also Gina Walker, Robert Walker, Cali Sudseth, Gayle Walker and Dirk Sudseth are all okay and in Port Neches confirmed by Dawn Anderson (am on the phone with Gina daily) Thanks for the lists. A lot more missing than the 20 reported in the news. Love to all and God Bless 10/21/2008
Found this entry on the Channel 13 missing person locator. I don't know who is in the Malcom Comeaux family, but it appears they are alive and safe!

Posted by: Barbara Daniels Jordan October 06, 2008 at 07:33 PM
I want to thank Malcolm Comeaux for giving me a call to let me know he and his family are okay, as well as, the Cripps famiy, and Curtis and William Maxey. You have made my day to know all of you are okay.

Monday, October 20, 2008 10/20/2008

To whom it concerns: I have checked all the places I could to see if there is a Shirley Bellar, address is:1320 7th Street, P.O. Box 345, Port Bolivar. She lived in a park model trailer and recently lost her husband, doesn't drive much and is at odds with her 2 brothers, one I think lives in Sabine Pass. She really doesn't have anyone that checks on her. We have no idea if she left or decided to stay. Is there a way to see if she can be found????? We try to keep in touch with her occasionally but wasn't able to during the storm. If anyone hears please let us know. Our phone # is 409-771-3146 in the event that is easier or will continue to check the web sites for her name.
The Main's

Ken & Shirl

Thank you for the information--will add his name to our Missing List until we hear from someone that he is "Found." I will post your email to our blog right away. God bless!
Connie Tomerlin
GCA 10/20/2008
Thank you so much. Often a few of our guys go to Crystal Beach to help David Loop and the C.B.V.F.D during major events. Daniel Farrish is from the area and I am from Houston. I spent alot of my childhood at Crystal Beach and around Fort Travis. I was just there on the beach in July. My heart is broke and saddened for your and the communities loss. I hope we may return to help in the rebuilding process. I was glad to see that Fort Travis stood it's ground and that the lighthouse is still a beacon of hope. God bless and keep you all.
Always and Forever,
Donna Smith

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 15th Meeting Recorded!

My husband and I went to the meeting Wednesday night at the Jefferson County Courthouse for the Restore Bolivar Peninsula. There were approximately 700 people in and out of the room anxiously awaiting news and information on the status of when and how we can start to rebuild and restore our homes and businesses. Most of this information will be uploaded to the Restore Bolivar Peninsula website. We have uploaded what we were able to record (most of the meeting). We missed the first few minutes as we had to make our way to get closer to the speaker for recording and also about a minute was lost when we switched out batteries between Part 1 and Part 2.

October 15th Meeting Part 1
(Reports from Entergy, Pat Doyle, BPSUD, TxDot and Judge Yarbrough)

October 15th Meeting Part 2
(Reports from FEMA, GLO, Mike Fitzgerald, Health District and the Core of Engineers)

Connie Tomerlin
Gilchrist Community Association

Your Emails 10/16/2008 10/16/2008
I am not sure he is missing but I don't see his name on any of the lists. I am looking for Kevin Freeman aka Porkchop from Lincoln Co. Brookhaven MS. He is a friend and a former firefighter/EMT. He and his family lived on Crystal Beach and he worked at the Galveston hospital. He may have been working during the storm. He graduated from Enterprise High School in MS. I am almost sure he would have tried to stay and I am almost 100% positive his house is gone. Please let the firefighters at Heuck's Retreat Volunteer Fire Department in Lincoln county know. He also has family that lives here. Please send an email to or .
Thank you,
Donna and Scott (H.R.F.D.) 10/16/2008
I am trying to locate the following people:
Monroe D. Kahla,- Crystal Beach, sister Sissy - High Island
Leslie D. Kahla (may be deceased)
Franklin L. (Butch) Kahla
Cotton Guidry and sister Jane ( don't know married names
Rose Marie Kahla daughter of Vic Kahla.
Thanks Barbara Huston
281-481-6449 after 6:00 p.m. 10/16/2008
could you please make contact with brother L.C Roots or a member of the Gilcrist Baptist Church to find out if they're going to hold church services this sunday and if so where and at what time- i would deeply appreciate your help-- ed snyder/409-698-2790

I just spoke with Brother Roots at the Stowell Post Office not more than an hour ago. He has been trying to make contact with some of his congregation. He has our phone number, but we do not have his. He is suppose to contact us within a few days. I am so sorry that I did not see this email before I saw him. I called Mike Slay and he is going to give me Brother Roots' phone number when he gets back home. I will email it to you then. God bless! :)

Connie Tomerlin
GCA 10/16/2008
thank you very very much-- i much appreciate your response--i went to rollover pass monday and was disheartened at what i saw- but then i saw the cross they put up where the church once was and then i knew everything was going to be alright-- Gilchrist will be rising from the dust of Ike-- may God Bless you and what you are doing-- ed snyder

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Here is a great site for pics and insight from the perspective of a Texas Parks & Wildlife Dpt. employee...THANKS Aaron! :) 10/12/2008
I've been following the updates on your ikeatbolivar blog. Thought you might be interested in seeing some of the photos and comments here:
Best wishes,
Aaron 10/15/2008
---------- Forwarded message ----------From:
Beckie Boudloche is listed as missing on the Rollover Pass website. She isnot missing, she and her husband Clifton were evacuated by helicopter themorning Ike made landfall. They were evacuated to a shelter San Antonio and got a ride to a shelter in Houston. I picked them up and took them to Galveston and they are staying in a motel, save and sound. 10/15/2008
I did not know where to send this e-mail, and found your website. Hopefully you might have information on the owners of the Reynolds Cabins there at Rollover. Her name is Debbie, I never knew what her last name was. We were there at the end of August, and I have tried to get in contact with her with the phone numbers that I had. I tried to call again yesterday but both numbers were disconnected. Hopefully you might have some good news about her. Thanks so much and God Bless everyone there.
Cathy Head
Splendor, Texas

Debbie "Reynolds" is my sister! :) My mom and dad owned Reynolds Retreat Cabin Rentals and Shells N'More Gift shop. We are ALL fine but, of course, the cabins, shop and all of our homes are gone, but we made it out safe and sound. Thank you for asking. Debbie is in Arkansas with my other sister. You can reach her at . God bless!

Connie Tomerlin

Sherry Johnson 10/14/2008
YEAH!!! We got porta potties !!!

Porta-pot Locations:
HWY87 @ Boyt Rd (2)HWY87 @ Ranch RdHWY87 @ Waterways Dr (2)HWY87 @ Crystal Beach Rd (2)Joe Faggard Building (2)HWY87 @ Canal StHWY87 @ Mary Ann StHWY87 @ Kenlyn StHWY87 @ Stingaree Rd (2)HWY87 @ Sea BreezeHWY87 @ N TunaHWY87 @ Caplen ShoresHWY87 @ GordonHWY87 @ Yacht Basin RdHWY87 @ Rollover CircleHWY87 @ Faggard's Slip RdHWY87 @ Gulf View--
Stephanie Johnson 10/14/2008
I had just found your website the other day. I would like to add my parents to the list of people that are safe and well.
Richard and Sharon Fleer Crystal Beach, Texas
Evacuated to Lindsay, OK on September 12, 2008. They will be residing there until they have received word that they can go back to proceed with cleaning up. They have made one trip down there to see their house but are waiting for power/water before going back.
Thanks, Sherri Jeakins Daughter Bloomington, IL

Lord, help me become the person my dog thinks I am.
Dawn Ewing

Kelly Carraway 10/14/2008
Todd Kahla from Port Bolivar is apparently not missing… through ‘networking’ with some of my former High Island classmates, one of my friends informed me that she had seen Todd working at his job on the Bolivar Ferry numerous times since the storm. Just thought I’d let you know.
Kelly Caraway/Beaumont TX. 10/12/2008
I am still looking for Jerry Wayne. (not sure of his last name)I have known him for over 20 years and that is the only name I know him by. He is skinny sandy blonde hair about 55 yrs old. Drove a purple car (newer). Lived in a travel trailer on bay side before rollover pass. I live in Baytown and would love to know if anyone has any news on Jerry Wayne.
Thanks and God Bless.

Christy 10/13/2008
connie i just heard about tugboat from your dad. regarding the missing person list- william comeaux constable is crab joes nephew and he is ok. harold norris is mgr of big store and i talked to him sunday-he is ok in winnie. at this time i plan to make wed meeting at jeff county court house. thanks, mike

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sign Up for the "Beach Out and Help Someone" set for October 18, 2008... 10/11/2008
"Beach Out and Help Someone", the first coordinated clean-up event for Bolivar Peninsula, has been scheduled for Saturday, October 18. District Judge Bob Wortham (Jefferson County) was able to obtain verbal approval from Galveston County Judge, Jim Yarbrough for this event to take place. Judge Wortham indicated that Judge Yarbrough will allow volunteers to enter the peninsula without proof of property ownership. We are asking that those interested in volunteering visit or send an email to for more information. Please be patient as we work to update the website with all of the necessary details and information. Additional clean-up days are being planned so there will be multiple volunteer opportunities available. Please also visit for additional information. -- Stephanie Johnson281-681-4207 Direct281-610-2579 CellE-mail : Stephanie Johnson, CPCExecutive Search Manager
2203 Timberloch, Suite 250The Woodlands,Texas 77380281-681-4207 Direct800-364-7979 ext 7275281-610-2579 CellE-mail : sjohnson@rwr.comPersonal:

Three Weeks After Ike...Recovery Efforts Grim 10/11/2008
Can you help me locate and make contact with L. C. Root, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Gilchrist?
Ted Hirtz
713-228-5570 10/11/2008
My name is Dustin Haubois my father is on this list Harry Bingham he has been missing since the storm . Could you please add my information to the list for anyone to contact me. I live in Louisiana I have been to Crystal Beach where my Dad lives I was also but on the News searching for him. I have not heard anything yet .Thank You So Much.
Dustin Haubois (Son) (985)860-8261 or (985)228-0964
You can reply to this email

I am so sorry--I will add your father's name to our prayers list. I am also posting your email to our website in the hopes that someone will see it and maybe post information. God bless you and your precious family during this difficult time in your lives!
Connie Tomerlin
GCA 10/10/2008
First, I wish to express my deep sadness with regard to the detestation that Ike left on Bolivar Peninsula. We had planned on traveling to Crystal Beach for vacation. I cannot believe the adversity that the community has suffered as a result of this storm. News of the recovery has been sparse. In my search to find out information, I found this article and see that two of the alleged storms victims are not included on the missing list. Please see reference to Dolores Brookshire and Charles Allen Garrett in the article:
Although I have no personal ties to Bolivar, I seem to share a sense of loss with all that called it home. We will postpone our trip to the Island ... will give it time to heal and then come for a visit. You should be commended for your efforts in keeping track of the missing and honoring the dead. The remainder of the online news sources seem to have swept that under the carpet ... difficult to understand. Bless you for your work.
Chris Stange

Grand Island, NY

Thank you so much for the sweet words. Everyone is still reeling from the shock down here. I still think my house is right where I left it with all of my personal belongings still there. But those are just "things." There are SO many people still looking to find out what happened to their loved ones. My family is VERY blessed that we know where we all are (scattered across the country, maybe, but at least we know!). Keep on watching the site as I try to update at least every other day if not daily. God bless!
Connie Tomerlin
GCA 10/9/2008

Here is another article you may want to post. It includes many stories of those still missing on the Bolivar Peninsula. It helps put a "face" with a name. I also noted that in the article Delores (Rose) Brookshire (72) and Charles Allen Garrett (42), both from Port Bolivar, are not on the missing list or the survivors list. I would assume they are still missing and need to be placed on the list since the LRC still has them on their missing list. I am processing more people here today in Bryan - maybe soon I will come up with some more survivors for you! Vanessa MarekProject Unity(979) 595-2900

Three Weeks After Storm, A Grim Recovery Task... NY Times 10/9/2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Do You Recognize The Names Of Any Of These Missing People? 10/9/2008

Connie - thanks for the info. These are the cases about which I have few details and no relatives to contact. Lise

Beck, John 75 Port Bolivar
Cook, John James 60 Crystal Beach (Owned a home at 850 Tinkle Lane in Crystal Beach)
Duke, Ronnie 57 Crystal Beach (Last known address 847 Sea Spray Dr., Port Bolivar)
Garza, Charles 42 Port Boliver
Goodwin, Cindy 50 Crystal Beach
Heitland, Alice 50 Port Bolivar (2109 Lilly Ln, Port Bolivar)
Kirkpatrick, Mike 68 Crystal Beach (Mike & Ollie lived at 942 Surfview in Crystal Beach 409- 684-6681)
Manley, Jerry 55 Gilchrist
Neal, Thomas Clayton 52 Crystal Beach
Roberts, Joe Wayne 50 Port Bolivar (1305 18th St., Port Bolivar TX 409-684-1016
Sampson, Reagan 60 Port Bolivar
Woods, Christopher 42 Crystal Beach

We Welcome & NEED Your Help To Keep Accurate Records...

10/8/2008 The Galveston County Daily News article has been sent to you by <>
I have been cross-referencing names of missing with people we have serve in the Bryan/College Station area. There is another Gilcrest person on this list as deceased that I do not see as missing. Hope this is helpful.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
County's 15th Ike victim found
PORT BOLIVAR — Search crews found the body of another unidentified Hurricane Ike victim Monday night on Goat Island.
Published October 8, 2008
Address of original story:

Thank you so very much--this is very helpful. The only way this website will work is if we get and stay connected with our community so that we can post the correct information. Thanks again SO VERY MUCH and God bless! :) Connie Tomerlin 10/9/2008
And thank you very much for your help in maintaining this list. Although I was not a resident, my family has spent LOTS of time on Galveston and Bolivar. This is very personal to all of us. We want to help in any way possible. Is there anything else we can do from here to help? I haven’t been able to match up any names with the missing so far, but we keep running into more and more evacuees each and every day who have gotten lost in the system. Maybe we’ll eventually find someone who was “lost”! 10/7/2008
Connie - No doubt you are busier than a one arm paperhanger however, just want to thank you for replying to my earlier email on the Comeauxs. I don't know if the folks I'm looking for and the Constable are related however, with all the Acadians with the Comeaux name there could be a distant relationship possibility. For what it's worth, yesterday I saw a posting on the ABC13.Com Bolivar Person locator where another individual was also looking for information on Joe Comeaux and his wife Sylvia. It would be great to hear that all the Comeauxs have been located safe and sound; here's praying for that. Thanks for all your hard work.
Russ Reider

PS: For what it's worth - I saw a posting on ABC13.Com dated 10/6 at 7:33 that Malcolm Comeaux had called someone and that the Cripps family and Curtis & Wm. Maxey were accounted for. I can't personally verify the info. but wanted to be sure you were aware of it.

Russ,I know that Sylvia is OK, because Mike Gross of the GCA and Gilchrist, TX spoke to her this past weekend. She, Joe and their sons are OK. I will forward that email to you. Thanks so much for your help and this website is only possible and accurate through everyone else's help--I appreciate ALL of you so much and do this to help our wonderful Bolivar Peninsula! God bless... Connie Tomerlin

Connie - Thank you very much for the good news on Sylvia, Joe and their family; now if we can only hear about Curtis Comeaux and his family. Also, thank you very much for your time and effort in maintaining the Rollovertexas website and for the fine job you are doing. Blessings to you------------- Russ Reider

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More Missing People--Please Contact Their Loved Ones If You Have Info...

Carole Hamady Missing--I have heard nothing about Carole, nor from her, since I called on Thurs. before the storm. The woman who answered said they were riding it out. No one seems to know anything. She ran Out-By-The Sea B&B at 2134 Vista St. in Boliver. Her house was second from the street off the lagoon in the middle of the island, about 2 blocks from the beach. Most of the houses on her side of the main street were new, with the houses on the other side being old. The phone numbers on her website are 409-684-1555 and 888-522-5926. None of them answer. Her photo is on the website, outbytheseab&, but I have no idea how to upload it. I do not know what her friends name is.

Port Bolivar missing persons to add--

Cutris and Debbie Comeaux and their 3 kidsJoe and Laverne RobertsBubba Roberts and his wife and 3 kidsMarcus and Telisa ComeauxSkip Rohatchet (mom)Cindy Rohatchet (daughter)
keep up the good workIf you need something let me know, I own web servers across the country

Anonymous 10/6/2008

I am so sad to hear about Gail and Reba. God love them they are together in a better place...bless them both esp. Gail for loving animals and her carved out place in this world cannot be filled.


I have a friend who is concerned about Harold Norris from Gulf Coast Market. I do not see his name on either list. Could you add him and hopefully someone has information that I can pass on. Thanks for keeping everyone up to date.

Cathy Johnson

Larry and Mary Rogers are in Houston, Texas with family member. They doing okay.

I know that Steve Hendricks and Steve, the crippled man who was well known for taking beautiful bird pictures and drove all over the beach in a little golf cart, are both safe. Steve Hendricks boarded up my house on Thursday morning for me and these two left the island together - Mr. Hendricks is about to start another job with my dad, so I thought I would let you know. Thanks,

Karen Stanfield

Emerald II

Find Your Missing Items or Post Pics of Items You Have Found! 10/5/2008
Hi,I live south of Dallas and have family at Crystal Beach. I have been torn over the devastation and it is just heartbreaking. My dad lives in sandy shores, and has only a slab left. My aunt and uncle, lives in Sandy shores also and does have their cabin, but the wall blew out and full of mud. Its also pretty much ruint. My dad has only found 3 items in his neighborhood that are his. Sandy Shores was his only home and it just breaks my heart that the little things they left behind are somewhere and might be found someday. I have not seen a website that is dedicated to lost and found items at the beach. I work for our county and my neighbor works for another county and is their IT manager. He gave up his house for a few weeks during Gustav and Ike for my family to stay. He created this website in hopes that the owners can locate their belongings or be able to return someone else property. I visit your site daily and would appreciate if you could add this link. It is on & rebuildbolivar.comThank you very much and God Bless the beach and its people.Shelly Kay

This email has been deleted 10/5/2008 10/5/2008
My dad, Larry Rhoden, lived on Selwyn in Crystal Beach. His cabin is gone, but he is staying with us in Pearland. Our home phone is 281 489-6636 or this email is fine for contact.
Carolyn Simpson"These things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day." Habakkuk 2:3 LB 10/5/2008
I am forwarding this email to everyone I can. Please help by using your resources to spread the word and make something happen.

This email is just a rough draft of an idea. Cheryll Moreau just called me. Most of you may have already heard about the "Mid-County Kindness". 30,0000 people! showed up in Bridge City to help clean up. They were from Port Arthur, Nederland, Port Neches, Groves. There were people helping clean up debris, moving furniture, schools made food and passed to workers, Red Cross had hot meals, companies were cooking on Main Street to feed people, people were passing out water to hot workers. This is how we "pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off". I have read countless blogs from people all over (not property owners) but people who have made memories through the years on Bolivar Peninsula. Those blogs are filled with people offering to help in some way. There are some residents of Crystal Beach without the means to clean up and restore. There are people out there now with signs to do the work. Work with a pricetag. We need that too, of course, and there are some who can pay the price. FEMA will pick up the debri (in time) from the side of the road. We don't need it to be carried off. But we do need to pick up the debris scattered on our property and our neighbor's property and stack it on the side of the road. To my Tidlelands Neighbors, pass this around to everyone you know in Tidelands. Because all though I am reaching some of you, I am not reaching all. Let's set a date and get together. Let's all pitch in and clean up Tidelands, Mama T's too! Swede's, Church of Christ, Sherman's. We need to put a Tidelands sign up at 87. I suggest we put blogs up on every site,,,, jake abby, madnonnie, and anything else any of you can think about. Let's get something on the news. I need help to make this happen. But, I am in and so is Cheryll Moreau. Here's what we need; 30,000 people showing kindness to Crystal Beach! We need heavy equipment, hands, people cooking, everything! Let's start in Tidelands! Please pass this on so we can reach as many people as possible. Please reply back with suggestions. I want to share a story a co-worker just told me... It goes something like this.... A grandfather was walking down the beach with his young grandson. They notices thousands of starfish that had become stranded on the beach. The young boy began picking them up, one by one, and throwing them back into the ocean. The grandfather looked at his grandson and said, "Son, there are too many. You can't possibly save them all". But granddad, he said as he picked one up and threw it into the ocean, "I made all the difference in the world to that one".
-- Stephanie Johnson, CPCExecutive Search Manager
2203 Timberloch, Suite 250
The Woodlands,Texas 77380
281-681-4207 Direct
800-364-7979 ext 7275
281-610-2579 Cell
E-mail : sjohnson@rwr.comPersonal:

Please Attend This Vital Rebuilding Meeting on Oct 15th!!! 10/5/2008
Dear Nancy and Connie, Here is the email address for Linda Kay Makin. She is the one who is managing the email list for the group. I received this info from Elvina and Larry Rougeau. They attended the first meeting. Here is a copy of their email to me. Thanks so much!
Pam Shelander

I attended a preliminary meeting for homeowners in Crystal Beach and Bolivar area last week at the Jefferson County Courthouse headed up by Judge Bob Wortham. Are you aware of this group? They are making a concerted effort to dispense information and work on different committees in order to facilitate the process of rebuilding. The next meeting is scheduled for October 15 at the Courthouse in Beaumont. If you would like to receive emails from this group (I don't think they have a name yet), send your name, mailing address, home phone number, cell number, and email address to:Linda Kay Makin at The list of committees include: Information; debris cleanup; water department; Bolivar Energy Committee; economic development; housing; FEMA (negotiations); legislative, insurance, taxing entity, Galveston School Board Committee,etc. Perhaps you can let the others on your email list know about this also. I was not sure who they were and if they were only in Sandy Shores Addition. We will need all the help and information we can get!!!
Elvina and Larry Rougeau
Sandy Shores

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Recovery Efforts Made on Bolivar & Goat Island 10/3/2008
My friends with Cen-Tex Search and Rescue are searching on Bolivar...finally. Some were at Crystal Beach yesterday. More are going down today & the plan is for them to help search Goat Island. I do know that these people and their dogs are highly trained. Don't know anymore specifics about the searches..
Judy Reynolds
LMB Holdings Inc 10/3/2008
To say that I am pretty obsessed with finding/reading anything about the Peninsula is an understatement. But anyway, I view the GCA site several times a day along with many others. I wanted to mention that Ronnie Lee is on the missing list, however, when Beckie Greys gave you names she included Ronnie Lee Dennison, which is Ronnie Lee. So you may want to correct that. On 9/14/08, I was on a forum of KHOU's and I received an email from the son in law of Johnney Becker from Gilchrist saying Johnney is safe in Houston. ( I don't know who Mr. Becker is, but you may want to add him to the survivors list.) Lastly, I have heard from several TX folks that there is a meeting scheduled at the Beaumont courthouse for 10/15/08 10 AM, either for the homeowners and business owners of the Peninsula and/or Gilchrist. Do you have any confirmation on this? If you do can you post it? I made a phone call to TX yesterday and I beleive it has to do with the rebuild bolivar website. The secretary I spoke to stated that an email was sent out to about 300 people, but I guess was not linked to it. If you can check that would be great as we are planning to return to TX by the 15th of October. Thanks again for your help and information.
Nancy J Bachman
Tavern by the Pass - Gilchrist TX
cell # 484-560-9323

Thanks so very much for the correction--it is very difficult to keep up with and I NEED everyone's help to make sure we have the correct information! I have not heard about the meeting, but I will do what I can to find out about it and post anything I find. Take care and God bless!
Connie Tomerlin
GCA 10/3/2008
Could you please add to your missing list or let me know if you have heard anything about them, their names are Raymond George (Ray) & Rosie Ruth Rozelle they lived at 982 Kirks Gilchrist Texas.From their friends and neighbors on Mae St. and the Gilchrist and Crystal Beach community. Thank you, Kevin Draughon977 Mae St.Gilchrist, TX
Kevin Draughon832-661-7359 Cell281-970-7424 Home

Thursday, October 2, 2008

More Missing People--Do You Have Any Info? 10/2/2008
Hello – Your website information is great. Can you please call me? I’m trying to write about the Bolivar missing persons.Lise 10/2/2008
Could you please add to your missing list or let me know if you have heard anything about them, their names are Raymond George (Ray) & Rosie Ruth Rozelle they lived at 982 Kirks Gilchrist Texas.From their friends and neighbors on Mae St. and the Gilchrist and Crystal Beach community. Thank you, Kevin Draughon977 Mae St.Gilchrist, TX
Kevin Draughon832-661-7359 Cell281-970-7424 Home 10/2/2008
Dear Connie, I wanted to make sure you received the second email I sent yesterday. I drove to the beach yesterday morning and found people working at Coconuts. My brother finally checked in with us. Thank you so much! I truly hope the others who are missing loved ones have the same outcome we did. Pam Shelander 10/2/2008
I don't know if this is the right way to go about it but I've been looking for the names of some families who lived in Port Bolivar and am wondering if you or someone else may have heard something about them. Joe Comeaux(crabber and bait shop) and his wife lived on Nelson; His son Delano and his family lived right behind him although his home may have been on Madison; and Curtis Comeaux (crabber & soft crab person) and his family who also lived on Madison. I hope and pray they all got out safe but sure would like to know so as to be certain and perhaps be able to contact them. Sorry to bother you because I know you have a lot more important things going on but if you get a chance please get back to me. Our prayers are for all you folks on Bolivar, Russ Reider - Houston, Texas PS: My son has 2 lots in Caplen Shores but fortunately he had not as yet started building. I guess we can be thankful for that.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Gilchrist Man is Identified--PeeWee Moseley...

I am sorry to report that PeeWee has been identified as the body found on Goat Island. This was listed as on the KHOU website this morning.PeeWee was a great man who was always smiling and willing to lend a helpinghand. My heart goes out to his mother Norma and his brothers. I have attached a great picture of PeeWee for you to post. He loved to sing karaoke and I will always remember him singing his favorite song - Remember When - PeeWee we will always Remember When.....thanks for entertaining all of us at the tavern! Thanks for providing us with this link to missing/found persons. Nancy Bachman & RickTavern by the PassGilchrist - currently staying in Pennsylvania

I have been using your site to assist us in having updated records for the Galveston Police as they have asked us to take calls on missing persons for their department. Your site has been very useful, but I was wondering if you could add our link to your site as to encourage folks see if they might be able to help us locate our list of almost 400 still missing. The site is and on the left side a link to IKE missing. We are very happy to see that so many folks are alive and well. Thanks, Terry Arnold volunteer, LRCF281-482-5723

Of course, I will add your link. In fact, I would be happy to add it to our Home Page so that our older, more computer-handicapped folks ("like me") :) can see it. Thanks so much and we appreciate what a great job you guys are doing! God bless to you all! :)

Connie Tomerlin
GCA Webmaster

I noticed that Ronnie Duke of Crystal Beach is not on your list. Does anyone know Ronnie or have information on him?--Dawn Davis Sr. Case ManagerLAURA RECOVERY CENTER906 Anna Lane Friendswood, TX 77546Toll Free Phone : 866-898-5723Phone : 281-482-LRCF(5723)Toll Free Fax : 888-268-0573Fax : 281-482-5727info@LRCF.NETA Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization 10/1/2008

I appreciate all you are doing. We had two homes in Crystal beach and they are both gone. My older half brother was supposedly working at Jose's Cantina and living at Crystal Beach. We don't know if he evacuated or not. We aren't even sure he was still living at the beach. He normally phones our father every 2 weeks or so and our dad has not heard from him. The cell phone number we have for him goes straight to his voicemail and several family members have left messages for him but, no response. My brother's name is Randall (Randy) Eugene Broussard. He is heavy set and bald and has bright blue eyes. He has pronounced dimples when he grins. I don't have a current picture of him. He is a Vietnam vet but, probably doesn't talk about it much. I have been trying to get the contact info for Jose' but, have been unsuccessful. I would appreciate any help you might be able to give us. My thoughts and prayers are with all of us affected by Ike. Even after seeing it with my own eyes, I am having difficulty processing it.

Thank you,
Pam Shelander

I had a place on head hunter, I live over 2 hours away and am hearing that the gov may buy land owners out, that we may not be able to rebuild ect........ any web site that has the real information? that you know of? I know fema is not offering any assistance unless it was your primary household. My sewer replacement alone will probly be 8 to 10 thousand dollars alone, thats twice more than the market value of my lot!

I have heard SO MANY rumors and really I don't have anything confirmed about what they are going to let us do or not do on the peninsula. I DO know that many people are in our corner and wanting to raise funds to help us rebuild. You can check out and also, plus, . There are many people working together to get our community rebuilt. Hope this helps you! God bless...

Connie Tomerlin
GCA Webmaster

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Your Emails- 9/29/2008
this is darlene sanchez. we have a lot of clothing we would like to leave in high island or winnie for people that need them is there a drop off spot for the clothes? thank you 9/29/2008
I appreciate all you are doing. We had two homes in Crystal beach and they are both gone. My older half brother was supposedly working at Jose's Cantina and living at Crystal Beach. We don't know if he evacuated or not. We aren't even sure he was still living at the beach. He normally phones our father every 2 weeks or so and our dad has not heard from him. The cell phone number we have for him goes straight to his voicemail and several family members have left messages for him but, no response. My brother's name is Randall (Randy) Eugene Broussard. He is heavy set and bald and has bright blue eyes. He has pronounced dimples when he grins. I don't have a current picture of him. He is a Vietnam vet but, probably doesn't talk about it much. I have been trying to get the contact info for Jose' but, have been unsuccessful. I would appreciate any help you might be able to give us. My thoughts and prayers are with all of us affected by Ike. Even after seeing it with my own eyes, I am having difficulty processing it.

Thank you,

Pam Shelander 9/30/2008
My cabin was located at 1329 Sunrise im Enerald #1 addition. I am looking for Edris McBride who was my neighbor across the street. I have called her cellphone buy have not been able to get in contact with her. if anyone knows anything of her where anouts please contact me 409-718-8567 or email I am really worried about her!!! Also, are we allowed to go into Crstal Beach as of today?
Paige Castille McDonald

Pics of the Peninsula!!! 9/30/3008

Click this link for photos of Winnie, High Island and Gilchrist. Thanks, Barb!!! :)



Monday, September 29, 2008

Please Read These Emails and See If You Have Info!!! 9/20/2008
my brother troy mcdaniel and his wife rita are from bolivar they are at their son robert in houston.
has anyone heard from paul minick from crystal beach. he lived on w canal across from anne willis and did she make it out ok .
also pastor robin huber and daugher rachel are safe have been back to gilchrist to take photos. 9-29-2008

I am trying to locate our neighbors in Gilchrist. I have looked on all of the missing/found person lists & have not seen their names. They lived at 982 Kirks St. their names are Ray & Ruth Rozelle. We are very worried, because they never left for any category 2 hurricane & now we can't locate them. Is their any way you can help?
Shelley StoneburnerStoneburner & AssociatesDimension Mortgage832-327-1922 direct832-526-6138 cell832-217-3225 fax 9/29/2008
I want to let you know that myself and Laverne Cloninger are ok we visited our
Beach House Slab this past Saturday Ours was the second one behind the Gilcrest Vol.
Fire Dept It is unbelievable what we seen.We are one of the lucky ones that had a home else where to go to we feel for our neighbors who lived at the Island .
I have tried to find out how to contact Harold White I know they were taken to Canton,
Texas I have spoke with the Fire Chief of Canton he said they had all been relocated and they had no list or info to provide .I hope you keep up the news of Gilcrest .If you find out about Harold Please let me know.If there is anything we can do to help you please let us help you.Hope this finds you safe.

Thanks Mike Killingsworth
Phone No. Work 713-690-6030
Home 281-399-2936 9-29-2008
My name is Donna (Schumacher) Beck. I owned a beach cabin at 827 S. Tinkle Lane in J & S Addition (beach side - down from Joy Sands Motel) from 1993 to 2002, a little blue cabin that I named "True Grit". Peggy and Barry Phipps were my dear neighbors and I have missed them since I had to sell. Barry is a shrimper. Peggy ran into a friend of mine at the beach about a week or maybe two before Ike. I also went to high school with Gary Tomberlin, and his home is on the Peninsula as well. Gary's profession is construction and he does work for many homeowners and I know he also works for homebuilders. Gary is very special me as well as many friends from the French High School Class of '74 in Beaumont, Texas.I would appreciate knowing that Gary Tomberlin, his wife Donna, and that Barry and Peggy Phipps are ok. I've checked the Red Cross site and yours as well.
Practically every good childhood memory and most of my happy adult memories are "at the beach". I am so very sorry to all who have suffered loss.Please email me with any news on these very special people.Thank you.
Donna BeckRE/MAX All Properties409-291-1729.cell832-565-8666.fax 9-29-2008

I’m looking for Carole Hamadey. She’s the owner of ”Out By The Sea” in Crystal Beach. I didn’t see her name on the survivor list or the missing person list. Let me know if I can check somewhere else.

Pam Calloway

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Tragic Story of Gail Ettenger...

I have been receiving emails from so many of you letting us know who has survived and who is still missing and we have been trying to post them and add the names to our Survivor's List or our Missing Persons list. It saddens me to say that one particular person's search for a missing person has ended. Jackie sent me these emails concerning her close friend, Gail and it puts a face on a tragic story to one person that did not survive Ike: 9-21-2008
Looking for Gail Ettenger...Gail lived towards the Inter Coastal on the end of Yacht Basin Road. She had the Great Dane, Reba.I know she stayed and the last time anyone talked to her was on Fri. pm @ 10:10 pm, while thingswere floating past.....We have spoken to her significant others, and they have heard nothing .....If you get any info, please email me: Jackie Hardaway

Jackie,Gail Ettenger has not been given to me as a survivor as of yet, but that does not mean she didn't make it out. There are several evacuees that have NO idea we are looking for them on our website. This page on our website was created to help family and friends who are looking for them to sound out and let's try to help find each other. I will pray that we find her name will make it's way on our Survivor's List. Good luck and may God bless! Connie TomerlinGCA 9-26-2008
I am sorry to report that she is deceased. They recovered her body from East of 562. She is the female found in Southern Chambers County. The confirmation came by phone Thursday pm. She loved living in Gilchrist off Yacht Basin Road. She made her choice to live near the beach, and the water claimed her life. My returning to the area will be a very sad one, because she will no longer bewaiting with Reba, her great dane dog, to go play in the water. We spent many a day, fishing and playing at the Pass. She will be missed! I pray that others will be found, because the thought of not ever knowing for sure asto what happened to them, leaves you empty. God bless, and thank you for posting.......Jackie Hardaway, PS: her precious dog, Reba, is still missing too.

Jackie,I am so very sorry for your loss! My prayers are with you. Can I post your email on to our Blogspot? I will understand if you do not want it posted. Let me know and again, my prayers are with you and Gail's family. Connie TomerlinGCA 9-27-2008
Connie, Thank you so much for your condolences. I have no problem with you posting this to your blog.I was at Gilchrist yesterday. The pictures you see that are posted at various areas, just don't give the true meaning of the massive loss which all who lived, or visited the area, have suffered. As you walk through the de brie field, following the path of your belongings, your heart swells and sinks, as you come upon something that was yours. My sister and her husband lost a beach house and a lot of personal items, and this is a tragedy for them, but they still have their home in East Texas to live in and continue their lives. Many others have nothing at all. Friends and family left with the idea that they would take a few days clothing.....saying that they would be back in a couple of days, to start their with their generators, as in past hurricanes, until the utilities were back on and life at the beach would continue as normal. Now, there is no "normal" and the "spirit" has been devastated. And when I went to Gail's "little piece of heaven on earth", my sister said it best......looking at the little piece of concrete where her house once stood...... "this is so sad, that this is all that is left of her life!" Gail made her choice to stay as she had always done in the past; never giving any thought to the massive wall of water, because the past high water, was never like this! In talking with Gail on Thursday, she was preparing by drawing her tub of water, ice in chests, securing her treasures inside and outside, taping her windows, etc.. She kept reassuring me and her close friends that "she and baby girl" would be fine. Phone calls she made on Friday, started becoming anxious; even mentioning that a close male friend told her, he would come and pick her up, so that they could leave......but he never showed up! Her last phone call to her friend and neighbor on Friday night, was a realization on her part, that she had made a very bad decision to stay. She was scared, describing what was going on outside and around her, now opening her windows due to the pressure. Pleas for Gail to seek higher ground, to put on a life jacket, and to get out of her house were too late.....the water was too strong and swift... then she said her goodbyes with a wrenching voice...she ended the call......and there was silence....the phone was dead and no one would here her voice again. The emptiness of the land, the brown vegetation, and the blank piece of concrete, which was her front porch,are what remains. Gail had such a beautiful yard with lots of flowers, green with life from the birds and allthe neighbor's cats and strays, which she so abundantly fed on a daily basis. She would go to the North End Bait Shop, and leave food for the cats. She had a heart of gold, when it came to giving to others..... whether it was people or animals. But don't get me wrong, she also was outspoken about anythingshe disagreed with too! She didn't care what others thought of her.....but she looked out for her neighbors and their belongings, as if she was the "guard on duty". She slept little and was a very private person aboutherself. She will be missed....for me, this is hard to accept, because this was a preventable death....had she only left the peninsula. My prayer is that she is at peace. I am amazed that her body was found so far from her home. It only signifies how massive and strong thewater was when it arrived. It gives me a peace in my heart just to know for sure, that she is gone. There are still many missing....and Gilchrist will never look the will be a long road to put the community back together. People are scattered near and far....and we all must grieve over what it used to be....many changes will be made, and a new life for all. May God's blessings be on all! Jackie Hardaway

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What A Great Community the Bolivar Peninsula Still Is!

My family and I went to the Bolivar Peninsula last week and looked over our homes and two businesses in Gilchrist (we were NOT allowed past Rollover Pass because of the damage to the bridge!). Looking over the unfamiliar land was like being in a nightmare that you can't wake up from. We turned off of Hwy 124 onto Hwy 87 and actually SAW the ocean. Two plus weeks ago, there use to be sand dunes of at least five or six feet covered in vegetation. The only thing you could see then was the occasional seagulls flying overhead and HEAR the ocean crashing along the shores and feel the salt air on your face!

The first recognizable landmark is Sharky's (?) RV park. There use to be a pier and enough pads for approximately 10 RV's. All that is left now are the pier's pilings and no more sand dunes to protect the RV's from the surf. In fact, the ocean has reclaimed this area all the way up to the road. Next, we came across Pelican pier which had a bait shop at the end of it; again nothing left, but remnants of pier pilings.

All along highway 87, in several places, the road is pulled up and torn away with the ground underneath just gone for several feet down as if something very large dug it out with claws. In the fields where oil pumps use to be gently bobbing up and down, and cows would graze peacefully next to them, there was no movement and about a dozen empty, overturned and abandoned vehicles; a hint of what a terrifying night September 12th must have been for the fleeing residents of the Bolivar Peninsula!

Coming into the edge of town, we saw the first visible signs of structures that were still erect and we thought half-heartedly, "Maybe it won't be as bad as everyone thinks!" until we got closer and saw that ONLY the upper half of the Coastal Component building was still standing and the "Bird Houses" had plenty of damage including beams of concrete and steel that looked as if they had been filed away in the middle. Still, ten of the original houses were standing proudly erect and tall!

The closer we got to the heart of Gilchrist, the more unrecognizable the terrain became. The beach side that use to house three to four rows of homes were totally GONE and the water had etched deep canals where paved streets were suppose to have been. The geotube or "sand sock" that was put in ten years ago with the help of the GCA (Gilchrist Community Association) to help with the erosion of the beaches was gone in many areas. On the bay side, the view was not much better. The streets were covered in sand and shells and looked as if a bomb had exploded and we were sitting in the middle of ground zero! I personally counted fifteen structures with maybe half of that being more than 50% damaged.

We passed Bay street, where our house use to be before we even realized where we were and after seeing only four feet of wall where the lower half of the house was, I felt overwhelmed with helplessness at the awesome power of Mother Nature! There was nothing left--a sewing machine buried in the sand, a plate here or there and my bathroom tub buried at the end of the next street. Everyone of our family's homes was the same story. Gone, Gone, Gone! A little trinket dug up that was probably not that important to us before Ike, has now, somehow, become the most treasured item we could ever own because it had survived Hurricane Ike.

As we walked along each street, I noticed that others before us had dug up trinkets as well. I got choked up and cried when I saw a pair of muddy binoculars with a side bent in sitting close to where it had been dug up by a thoughtful neighbor and I felt the compassion and love that was symbolized in leaving it where it was found for the rightful owner to reclaim. If looters had made their way to Gilchrist, it was long before we had gotten there because we saw no evidence of it. There's just not enough there to loot!

As humans, we think that we can control our world by owning this or that and maybe we are better than this person because we have this or that, but God has a way of humbling us back to the simple purity of Life and what is really important to hold on to--our families and each other. I thank God that I can proudly say that I come from the kind of community that still knows what it means to help one another out and to be there for each other--Gilchrist and the entire Bolivar Peninsula!!!

Things That Ike Taught Me!!!

A Little Humor From A Gilchrist Evacuee-Thanks, Amanda! 9-27-2008
Things Ike taught me:
Coffee and frozen pizzas can be made on a BBQ grill.My car gets 23.21675 miles per gallon, EXACTLY (you can ask the people in line who helped me push it).He who has the biggest generator wins. There are a lot more stars in the sky than most people thought.TV is an addiction and the withdrawal symptoms are painful.A 7 lb bag of ice will chill 6-12 oz Budweiser's to a drinkable temperature in 11 minutes, and still keep a 14 lb. turkey frozen for 8 more hours.There are a lot of dang trees around here.Flood plain drawings on some mortgage documents were seriously wrong..People will get into a line that has already formed without having any idea what the line is for.Cell phones work when land lines are down, but only as long as the battery remains charged.Hampers were not made to contain such a volume.Tree service companies are underappreciated.I learned what happens when you make fun of another states' blackout.MATH 101: 30 days in month, minus 6 days without power equals 30% higher electric bill ?????
Drywall is a compound word, take away the 'dry' part and it's worthless.I can walk a lot farther than I thought.A MUST for all blackouts with kids... GLOWSTICKS! Cheap, fun, no mess!You can never have too many gas cans! If you fill the bathtubs with water, the water will not go off. 5 gallons of sweetened iced tea a day is not enough for 9 teenagers.Just because it is dark and you are in the privacy of your bedroom doesn't mean we can't hear what you are doing in there because our windows are open too.What looks acceptable by candlelight in your bathroom will scare you when you look at yourself in the mirror at the office.Coffee is possible without Starbucks.Peanut butter and jelly is a perfectly acceptable meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the same day.Don't shun those who use Tylenol PM or Advil PM to get through 11-hour nights.That neighbor who knows how to use a chainsaw is your new best friend.Ice is a form of currency.Coming home from work with a pizza and a charged-up laptop so the kids can watch a DVD makes you a hero.You run out of things to barbecue after Day 2.Hair can dry without a blow dryer, but it may not look the way you planned.Baseball caps go with any post-hurricane ensemble.You can't train yourself not to flip on light switches when entering a room.Lukewarm is the new cold.You have neighbors.A new opening phrase when seeing someone: "Got lights yet?"~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~WHAT WILL YOU DO WHEN THE POWER COMES BACK ON? Watch the video of Geraldo Rivera getting knocked over by a wave during pre-storm coverage.Shut the windows and pretend you never saw your neighbor in those baggy shorts.Turn on the DVD player super loud and have a mini dance party even if it's 3 a.m.Have a long conversation with TiVo about how he let you down.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

High Island Pictures

These pics come from Ed Snyder--Thanks, Ed!

I have a cousin who lived close to Rollover Pass and was wondering if anyone has heard from him. My grandmother is very worried about him and I want to let her know something. His name is Harry Heinz if anyone has heard from him or has a way I can check and see if he is ok please let me know. Contact # 409-673-9088 Lisa Shaw

I am concerned about Dick (Eugene) Marshall, an elderly gentleman who lived on North Tinkle Road in Port Bolivar. He may be with his daughter Rhonda, who also lived in the same area. Does anyone have any information on them?

Gail lived towards the Inter Coastal on the end of Yacht Basin Road. She had the Great Dane, Reba.I know she stayed and the last time anyone talked to her was on Fri. pm @ 10:10 pm, while thingswere floating past.....We have spoken to her significant others, and they have heard nothing .....If you get any info, please email me: Jackie Hardaway @ We lived there for a year at Dick & Dorothy's RV Park at the corner of Hwy 87 and Yacht Basin Rd.My sister and her husband lost their house near the Gilchrist Post Office, and we know that thoseare all safe. Would appreciate any info.........thanks, Jackie
MISSING: Herman Thomas "Pee Wee" Moseley, W/M 48 , resident of Gilchrist , last contact Friday Sept 12. It has been rumored that he was with Ronnie Lee or Ronny Lee before Ike made landfall. Any and all info would be appreciated. His mother, Norma Rubin, and brothers Dwight & James Moseley are worried about him. If you have info please contact Dwight at 409 9884970 or James Moseley at 409 5482046 or 417 4834455. Thanks and God Bless!
I have been regularly checking and now your site. Have you heard anything about Leah and her mom, Debra or their friend that used to mow my yard - Rollover Rick? Thank you for all of your hard work. Meredith 9-18-2008
Has anyone heard from Bruce and Skip Haire. They used to own the 3 Dolphins on Elsie Street just past Rollover. We got to know them when we were renting their beach property and wanted to check and make sure they were OK. They also own a place in Gilchrist, I believe.Please let us know if anyone has heard from them.Thanks—Mary Hall, Rose Green, Beth Stanley, Betty Maxwell, Charlene Martinez, Debra DialOre City, TXOur thoughts and prayers are with everyone down there. If we can do anything, please let us know.
Our hearts just hurt for the people of the Gilchrist area. My husband pastored the Baptist church at Gilchrist '67-'68. We loved living on the beach. From the pictures, we think the house the church rented for us to live in was on the location of the only standing house.. just behind the church. We are concerned about C.L. and Sandy Roots, who we think were still there as pastor and wife of FBC Gilchrist. I do not see them in the list of survivors. In later years the church had a parsonage, I think on Butterfly, but it was also on the Gulf side of the beach and it seems to be gone. We are praying for all of you, Barbara and Jerry Clower Abilene, Texas

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bolivar Peninsula Re-Entry Slated For Friday!

Return to Bolivar Peninsula by Jim GuidryWednesday, September 24, 2008
Residents and property owners will be allowed to return to the BolivarPeninsula for a "look and leave" visit beginning at 6 a.m. on Friday. Listen: RealPlayer MP3 "Finally we have been able to get all the pieces in place to have a re-entry to BolivarPeninsula," said Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough. "A lot of hard work has been done by TxDOT and our road department to get that bridge at RolloverPass accessible. We are working with the State to bring other resources to the residents." "We've got the road bridge finishing up this afternoon," said Commissioner Patrick Doyle. "Tomorrow, we will be getting all the PODs (Points of Distribution) all in place; portapots, all the supplies, water, ice all those sort of things." Although County officials are working to supply the PODs in time for the Friday re-entry, Doyle advised returning residents and property owners to bring supplies, such as water, ice and mosquito spray, "because we may not have supplied all our PODs by then." Residents and property owners will be permitted to drive across the bridge between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day; and will be asked to leave at 4 p.m. Law enforcement will be present to maintain order and to assure that all persons leave after 4 p.m. PODs with ice, water, portable toilets will be set up at CrenshawSchool and the FaggardCenter, as well as at HighIsland. People are urged to have tetanus inoculations before returning to the Peninsula, but the Galveston County Health Department will be giving shots at the POD at the HighIslandSchool. Registration forms to facilitate re-entry will be posted on prior to the beginning of the program. Many people have expressed concern that the forms have not yet been posted, but Doyle stresses that they can be filled out on the scene. "No one will be turned away," Doyle said. "We just need proper identification."

Body Recovered in Debris in Annahuac 09/24/08:
Body Recovered in Hurricane Ike Debris in AnahuacReported by: Scott PriceWednesday, Sep 24, 2008 @01:50pm CST
Chambers County authorities have recovered a body in the debris fields left by Hurricane Ike. Tuesday afternoon, members of the US Fish and Wildlife Department discovered the body of a white female, located in a debris field east of FM 562, between Lone Oak Bayou and Lake Surprise. The victim, clad only in a bra, is described as a white female in her late 40’s to early 50’s, 5’6”, medium build, with short brown hair and blonde to grey hi-lites. Preliminary autopsy results from the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office showed that the female showed signs of dental work, including fillings and caps. She also had a scar from a hysterectomy. It appears that the cause of death was due to drowning, as there were no broken bones or head trauma. Friday, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens marked 44 major debris piles, and game wardens, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge officers and Sheriff’s Deputies accompanied handlers from the all-volunteer Greater Houston Search Dogs and K-9 units from the Port Arthur Police Department began ground searches. “At this time it is very difficult to know just how many people really are missing from the Bolivar Peninsula after the storm, or if there are remains in these debris fields, but if there are, then we want to make sure we find them,” said Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive. “We do know that much of what was at Gilchrist and Crystal Beach before the storm is now five or six miles inland in Chambers County.” Sheriff LaRive also reported that there was one storm-related fatality in Chambers County in the days before the storm. Anahuac resident, 52 year old Gary Schweinle was electrocuted on September 12, 2008 as he attempted to secure his roof before Hurricane Ike struck. LaRive said the search will continue until all of the marked debris fields have been searched with the aid of the dogs, a process he said could ultimately take weeks

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Getting Onto the Peninsula

We have received MANY emails about when people can go back to the peninsula. Galveston is opening up tomorrow, Wednesday. I have no OFFICIAL report of when the peninsula will be open and if you decide to go down there, you may not gain entry. It is up to the discretion of the officers posted at each checkpoint. I have gotten emails that some people have been allowed access and some have not. My husband and I got in yesterday with proof of residency, but they escorted us out at 5:00pm. We were able to walk around our place and look (our home was on the east side of Rollover).

I have heard that Wednesday, they are opening up the peninsula to everyone with property on the east side if you have proof of residency, but I have no confirmation of this. I also heard that if your property is on the west side of Rollover, that you have to go to Galveston and catch a ferry to get on the peninsula to check out your property. Again, this is what I have heard and have no OFFICIAL report. The information on the peninsula that comes to us is from the public and not the authorities.

I know that this does not help most of us, but it is the only information I have now and the decision to go or not to go at this time should be up to each individual and how far they have to travel to possibly get turned away. There are no hotel accommodations within three hours of Bolivar peninsula and getting gas is extremely difficult due to a supply and demand issue. I am in San Antonio and we drove 5 hours to hopefully get in (which, THANK GOD, we did!), but I also know of people driving even further away and getting turned away. I don't know if it has to do with where their property is located or if it has to do with the whims of what official happens to be on hand at each checkpoint.

Good luck to each and everyone and may God bless us all!

Connie Tomerlin