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Looking at Bridge City 5 years after Hurricane Ike
BRIDGE CITY-By: Leslie Rangel
You won't find much physical evidence of what happened five years ago.
In fact, you'll see a small Southeast Texas town with neighborhoods and businesses a lot like any other.
But Bridge City bore the brunt of Hurricane Ike when the city flooded.
When the ocean drained away, the mayor estimated only 14 houses did not have water damage.
You'd never think the Bridge City Animal Hosptial was filled with ocean water from Hurricane Ike's surge.
"There was mud everywhere, it had knocked our french doors actually open," Candice Trahan, a veternary tech with the hospital says.
"There was dog food everywhere and it stunk to high heavens it was terrible," Shelly Waddell, the office manager says.
Both employees say they were at the hospital right after teh storm along with their Veternarian, ready to start rebuilding.
"Didn't know how we were going to put anything back together and Dr. Pugh anyone that was left in Bridge City or had come home, he was still seeing patients when we didn't have anythnig, not even electricity," Waddell says.
Some describe it as a war zone.
"The ones of us that were here, we close our eyes and you see it all over again, but it's crazy that it's been five years, it doesn't feel like it's been 5 years at all," Trahan said.
"Right up front it was very questionable about what in the world was going to happen, where are we going to go, how are we going to do it," Mayor Kirk Roccaforte says.
But city leaders and citizens say they've nearly recovered from the storm that tore apart their community.
"It was just a big effort by all the citizens, by all the city employess and everyone involved to make a big effort to rebuild and it's happened," the Mayor says.
This business is just one example of what's happened throughout this town.
"I know a lot of families lost a lot of things as well as businesses in the area but you can recover, you just have to have faith," Waddell says.