Monday, September 14, 2009

After Ike by Bryan Carlile

This weekend marked the one year anniversary of when Hurricane Ike made landfall at Galveston. The devastating storm ultimately claimed over 100 lives and did more than $24 billion worth of damage.

Houston photographer Bryan Carlile was in a helicopter working as a first responder the day after Ike made landfall, capturing more than 100 aerial photographs of the storm’s grim aftermath. After Ike: Aerial Views from the No-Fly Zone includes these photos, along with Carlile’s eyewitness captions.

An excerpt and sneak peek:

The Texas Gulf Coast feels like home to me. For many Texans, it is both a destination and a state of mind—a place for rest, recreation, and escape, offering solace and peace to all who seek them. Truly, it is a mecca to nature lovers, sportsmen, and tourists.

The Houston Yacht Club.

I have spent countless hours flying above the grandeur of the coast, and I have worked in its marshes and prairies, sanctuaries and preserves. I have studied the coastal landscape for so many years that I can recall its contours by memory. I have soared in its skies, felt its sand between my toes, and held its wildlife in my hands. I’ve hiked, biked, skied, and fished along its beaches. This land offers me a sense of being and a place of belonging. To many of us, the Texas Gulf Coast is a touch point that somehow allows our minds to be free while keeping us grounded.

Debris on Seawall Boulevard.

With a force I pray we never witness again, Hurricane Ike slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast on September 13, 2008. The days following landfall were challenging, stressful, depressing, and yet I felt exhilarated. The world around me was without power, communication, fuel; people were suddenly rendered homeless and hungry. For those with homes, many felt they could not leave, trapped by the idea of vandalism, theft, or further water and wind damage. Flooded streets prevented travel for others. It was in this frenetic, disorganized atmosphere that I found consolation in a cockpit, escaping the tragedies that had befallen my friends and family by documenting the wrath of Hurricane Ike.─ from the foreword

Crystal Beach