"I could see the water coming up when I woke up in the morning," Angell said. "I was like, 'Uhhh!' I feared for the worst."
His property fared pretty well, five houses from the beachfront, but his neighbors were not as lucky.
Almost every, if not all, of the homes in the island community suffered some sort of damage. From missing shingles to virtual destruction, Nicholas' relentless surge and rain left an indelible mark.
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Mayor Gregg Bisso is overseeing the city's cleanup. He says officials are working overtime on cleaning up debris and on putting the sand back on the beach. As of Wednesday night, there was still no power or water.
"We were anticipating a light tropical storm, and we got a whole lot more," Bisso said. "We're working on the water. Our generators got hit either from a surge or electricity, and the control panels are out."
The island city is checking visitors as they cross the 334 bridge.
Life for residents is not back to normal yet. That could take days or weeks. But, Angell said he's counting his blessings.
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"It's scary a little bit," he said. "I guess the good thing is we all have insurance, most of us do, and that covers the big pain."
Surfside is not a tourist area. It's a tight-knit community. They look out for each other, and after Nicholas, they're helping one another clean up too.
Debora and George McDurham evacuated Monday when they heard warnings of a five-foot storm surge and they say they're glad they did.
When they came back, they noted the destruction.
"Devastation," Debora said, pointing to damage along her street. "We're buried in sand. We've got downstairs below where we park the vehicles. It's covered in sand down there."
They are thankful their home's interior is undamaged. No power. No water. But they have a generator. And they know they fared better than some of the neighbors, especially given the surprise punch Nicholas leveled at the island town.
"It was a pretty good blow," George McDurham said. "I knew at three o'clock when it was coming up they were warning us about a three to five surge."
Kim Runge evacuated, too. She has damage on the home's exterior, but all in all fared well. Unlike other homes, her roof is in intact.
"We were a little concerned," Runge said. "That's why we moved everything, our surfboards and everything, up from the shed. Moved all the front patio furniture inside."
She says her home is closer and closer to the beachfront with every passing storm season.
Erosion is a real concern here, and after the city spent a lot of time and effort rebuilding the dunes after last season, they have to start again, as Nicholas rolled through them and deposited sand and debris all over the island.
This was no Hurricane Ike, which devastated much of the coast here in 2008. But Nicholas is a storm they won't soon forget in coastal Brazoria County.
For more on Hurricane Nicholas' impact along the coast, follow Tom Abrahams on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.