PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

September 13, 2013

5 years after Ike slammed coast, rebuilding of lives, communities continue

(Continued)

Pleasure Island

Nearly five years and close to a million dollars later, Port Arthur’s Pleasure Island is getting back to its pre-storm condition.

After Ike washed ashore, sailboats littering the island were a testament to the devastation caused by Ike.

Pleasure Island Director Jimmy Dike said so far repairs made to the Island have cost about $900,000. FEMA paid the bulk of the expenditure, and the city agreed to pay the balance as long as the projects are related to public amenities.

Completed projects include the boardwalk which ties the RV park into the marina; an irrigation system at the golf course; a large fishing pier with covered pavilion, a fuel dock for boats; and debris removal. The Army Corps of Engineers funded project to resurface the north and south levee roads has also been completed.

Marina repairs, expected to reach about $8.9 million, will be jointly paid by FEMA and the island. FEMA will pay roughly 75 percent, and the Island the rest, Dike said.

The city of Port Arthur agreed to loan the Island Commission money for its part, to be reimbursed with proceeds from the marina, and other revenue-producing leases.

Pleasure’s Island’s marina is nearly completed and expected to be up and running soon, Dike said.

Sabine Pass

In Sabine Pass the city’s infrastructure has to be upgraded to keep up with the community’s changed skyline.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency required to homes be elevated in the area, necessitating expanded water lines.

“Because the buildings were mandated to be elevated, the water pressure was not up to par,” Ross Blackketter,  Port Arthur director of public works, said.

Those infrastructure upgrades, funded from Round II Hurricane Recovery money, includes expansion of a pump station,  a ground storage tank, and new water lines.

Anyone traveling to Sabine Pass will notice a more beach-like atmosphere from the now elevated homes.

Also elevated is the city’s fire station which was totally rebuilt from the ground up. The new station was feted with an open house in August.

Ironically, the new building replaced one that had been rebuilt by the volunteers and crews from the television show “Extreme Makeover” after Hurricane Rita destroyed it in 2005.

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