Ike and Kemah Boardwalk

Friday, September 12, 2008 1:57 PM

Fortunately, it isn't strengthening as anticipated (probably not a 3). It will still be very dangerous though. And according to Google Earth, Schiltterbahn is about 3 feet above sea level! (I think the granite seawall is 5 or 6' though)

Friday, September 12, 2008 2:03 PM

One thing to remember about this storm is even if it doesn't get to Cat 3 strength, the sheer size of it will make the surge comparable to a 3 or 4. To add to the problem, landfall is supposed to occur near high tide...

My thoughts and prayers go out to all who are in the path of this storm.

Friday, September 12, 2008 3:30 PM

Kemah boardwalk has been overtopped already.

Friday, September 12, 2008 3:49 PM

Does anyone get the absurdity of referring to a storm that "only" has 100 mph winds?

I was in Ft. Myers for Faye as it rolled in, the center of the storm only a few miles east of where I was, and I was blown away (pardon the pun) at the sheer strength of that sustained wind. Mind you, that storm never even got the hurricane designation. I can only imagine what people have to deal with for an actual hurricane.

Friday, September 12, 2008 3:51 PM

I just saw a picture of the coaster in a liveshot from a local tv station. The water is rising about a foot an hour...and the storm is still 150 miles out.

This might be a Cat 2 from a wind perspective but they are calling it a Cat 4 from a storm surge perspective. They should not be rescuing people from the evacuation zones at this point. If people didn't listen to the warnings they should be left to fend for themselves.

Friday, September 12, 2008 4:01 PM

It may survive the winds. I will not survive ten feet of water battering it consistantly for hours at a time. Galviston only has a 17ft protection wall and storm surge is to be 20-25ftLook at people partying live On the beach I pray for them http://severestudios.com/livechase

Friday, September 12, 2008 4:35 PM

You may be right, and recent pictures are showing lots of debris in the water, which I am sure will to add to the damaging effects of the waves. Those slides from the governor's briefing show water predicted all the way out to League City--that's a lot of residential areas under water. Yahoo images shows a stilted beach house on fire in Galveston with water all around it.

Last edited by Jeffrey Seifert, Friday, September 12, 2008 4:37 PM
Saturday, September 13, 2008 12:39 AM

Weather Channel is reporting serious flooding in the Kemah entertainment area, with landfill still 2-3 hours away. The western side of Galveston Bay is supposedly going to take the worst hit from the storm surge.

Saturday, September 13, 2008 1:28 AM

Jeff said:
Does anyone get the absurdity of referring to a storm that "only" has 100 mph winds?

Bah! I have one of the best, "You kids don't know what it's like" situation - I lived on Miami Beach when Andrew hit.

I also have secondary preparatory experience from living in Jax when Floyd teased us.

We also have family in Gulf Breeze and Boynton Beach and good friends in West Palm.You'd be surprised (or maybe not, you just saw it) at how people seem to just take it all in stride.

I think I've said this before, but the hit isn't what sucks (unless you decide not to get out of the way and are killed) - it's the weeks after when the rest of the world has long forgotten about the whole thing, but you're still sitting around with no utilities, boiling what little water will come out of the drain, praying for some sign of progress in getting back to normal and swearing to God you'll never take modern conveniences for granted again if the electric would just turn back on today.

This is just the exciting part - the sucky part happens long after The Weather Channel can't milk it for ratings anymore.

Saturday, September 13, 2008 7:57 AM

Rob Ascough said:
I don't think anyone is suggesting that a wood coaster is more important than a few million lives, but this is a coaster site and right now a coaster stands in the way of a potentially-dangerous storm. It's not unreasonable for us to be talking about the "what ifs" and it certainly doesn't paint anyone as callous and heartless.

AMEN! You know, this happens everytime there's some disaster, natural or otherwise. This is a coaster site. The rides mean nothing compared to the impact on people's lives but the rides are what this site is about. It is perfectly o.k. to come here and ask if anyone knows what conditon a ride that might have been affected is in. It would be callous to go on CNN.com or the weather channel site and ask about a ride there.

Saturday, September 13, 2008 1:02 PM

It's interesting that some of the parishes in Louisiana that were directly hit by Gustav were seeing worse flooding from Ike. People didn't really expect to see that kind of surge from a storm so far away, but it was so huge of a storm.

Saturday, September 13, 2008 1:46 PM

There are a couple of pictures of the Kemah area in this photo collection (number 14 and 16):


None show the coaster, but the area looks like it got flooded pretty badly. How high were the footers for the Bullet?

Last edited by metallik, Saturday, September 13, 2008 1:47 PM
Saturday, September 13, 2008 2:34 PM

CNN just showed video of the Kemah area and there was a brief didtant shot of the coaster, looked like no major wind damage. However, I suspect that the bottom of the ride was flooded.

Saturday, September 13, 2008 5:12 PM

The title of the video on CNN is Ike Floods Amusement Park.
I went to CNN and typed in Kemah. It is listed 1/2 way down on the right side. It is an helicopter view. It looks fine, but I'm not physically standing there. I want to be though!

Sunday, September 14, 2008 7:24 PM

Are you guys kidding me?

Just remember, theme parks can be rebuilt. Lives can't be replaced. I am sure the people who lost their homes and the lives of their loved one's could give a rat's ass about a theme park right now.


Last edited by coasterqueenTRN, Sunday, September 14, 2008 7:26 PM
Monday, September 15, 2008 5:54 AM

^ How true. As my dad likes to say "You can replace of fix a THING without too much trouble. A human's a bit tougher."

On a side note, looks like he might be headed down to Houston this week. He works as a mobile mechanic for a utility company.

Monday, September 15, 2008 12:55 PM

coasterqueenTRN said:

Are you guys kidding me?

Just remember, theme parks can be rebuilt. Lives can't be replaced. I am sure the people who lost their homes and the lives of their loved one's could give a rat's ass about a theme park right now.

The Kemah Boardwalk entertainment area consists of more than just an amusement park, there are several restaurants, shops, and a resort hotel. They employ hundreds of people all year round. In order for that area to recover, people are going to have to get back to work, even if they did lose their home. It may be just an amusement park to you, but to a lot of people it is their livelihood. I would hope you could muster up a little more compassion.

Monday, September 15, 2008 2:28 PM

Here's a photo from a local Dallas new station. The water appears to be gone now, but it looks the flat rides were pretty severely damaged.


Monday, September 15, 2008 2:47 PM

Looks like some of the "cars" were blown right off the ferris wheel. Yikes.

Monday, September 15, 2008 3:13 PM

Some additional pictures can be found here,


Kemah Boardwalk starts at Image 22.


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