First-hand look at Bolivar Peninsula

September 18, 2008 2:50:06 PM PDT
Bolivar Peninsula is considered one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ike, and it has remained effectively cut off from the mainland. Now we are getting a first-hand look at the devastation.HURRICANE IKE: Watch live | Breaking news on Ike | Roadway incidents | Interactive tracking | Viewer photos of Ike | Doppler radar | During the storm | After the storm | Hurricane guide

Wayne Dolcefino made his way to Bolivar Peninsula by boat for a look at the destruction there. At the same time we've been able to fly SkyEye 13 over the area.

The boat ride from South Shore Harbor was treacherous, due to all the debris in the water. The visuals were striking, not just the homes torn apart, but the personal items of people's lives, such as microwave ovens and ceiling fans from children's bedrooms.

On the bay side of Bolivar, the water line was halfway up the windows on the second floor of homes. Homes on the Gulf side fared worse, often smashed into a pile of lumber.

Many homes are left as mere concrete slabs, with no apparent home structure anywhere nearby. Other homes appear nearly unscathed. Sand and mud has been strewn everywhere, covering much of Highway 87, the main road through Bolivar.

Although we had earlier said the Bolivar Lighthouse suffered damage, after SkyEye13 flew over, it appears to be intact and at least relatively unharmed.

It looks like a war zone in the air, with all the military helicopters. Search and rescue operations are to be underway.

The only people we have encountered on Bolivar are game wardens working search and rescue. They reported rescuing two people. Those rescue workers have no reports of deaths at this time. They are going house to house, looking for survivors.

Meanwhile, just off the coast, more than 50 ships are lined up, awaiting access to the Houston Ship Channel.

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