Slow repairs in G-town

It’s depressing how many things are still broken in Galveston since Hurricane Ike hit more than a year and a half ago.

Don’t get me wrong–a lot of stuff is fixed, the city is livable. It’s even a fun place to be.

But people are just now getting FEMA money to fix their houses. The city’s just now suctioning out all the sand and debris left by Ike in the storm sewers. And–well, the stop lights are still barely working. They have been working on duct tape and hope ever since the storm, and every time there’s the least little bit of moisture in the air, sundry traffic lights go on the fritz, leading to long lines of traffic doing the four-way stop thing.

Usually, it’s the older traffic lights on the less-traveled streets that stop working, but we usually get at least one set of lights on Seawall Blvd. doing the blinky thing. More rarely will a light on Broadway go out. Broadway is the road the causeway/freeway dumps onto. It’s the starting point of I-45 from Houston to Dallas, it’s six lanes across (3 each way) with a tree-planted median all the way through town, until it merges with Seawall at Stewart Beach. (I think it’s the only traffic median on the national historical register…)

There where the freeway ends, Broadway also has two turning lanes to the county courthouse, so it’s 8–no, 9 lanes across. (There’s an extra lane added on the “outbound” side to send two lanes down the access road.) So it’s a Huge Intersection, with a light.

Today, that light was out. It had sorta rained earlier. Pathetic, pitiful rain–more like mist, really. Or like really, really thick humidity. But that was enough moisture to knock out the stoplight. So, of course, the traffic backed up. It wasn’t too bad–probably wouldn’t have been as bad as it was, except they’d blocked off the inside lane, I think to mow the medians, or some such.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that most of the traffic lights on the island were damaged in the hurricane. They have them working–sort of. But every traffic light in the city needs to be rewired and replaced. Galveston is supposed to be getting some federal help in doing it, but that help is very, very slow in coming. The fact that the economy collapsed the month after the hurricane hit didn’t help any. We’re still the city the country forgot. Sigh.

But we’re hanging in. Bit by bit, the city is getting put back together.

Oh, and that house hunting thing? The banks aren’t being cooperative, so we’re going to wait a while before we move. Stashing more money. I also need to sell another book. Which means I’d better finish the one I’m working on. And I didn’t write a blessed thing today. I did however, finally get my computer put back together. Now I have to go reload all my programs.

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