(Orange, Texas)

Our Community

September 14, 2013

Orange County communities show growth since Ike

BRIDGE CITY — Five years after Hurricane Ike, the remnants of its devastating storm surge and catastrophic damage have healed but the scars remain.

The City of Bridge City was nearly wiped from the map on Sept. 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike unleashed its fury on the Texas Gulf Coast with more than 100 mph winds and a storm surge estimated between 15 to 20 feet in some locations. Bridge City was one of the hardest hit communities as 99 percent of the city’s 3,300 homes and nearly all of its businesses sustained water damage.

“The city is looking real good right now,” said Mayor Kirk Roccaforte. “I would never have dreamed we would be as far along in five years as we are. I think it’s just amazing. The citizens, the city employees and administration and other entities from around Orange County and outside the county have helped us get Bridge City back on track in that time and I can’t say thank you enough.”

Since the storm, Bridge City has accomplished many of its objectives in a relatively short amount of time.

Thanks for federal funding, Bridge City has completed repairs or rebuilt miles and miles of its city streets, has dealt with drainage issues, water and sewer system projects and continues to address more of those issues in 2013.

“We are still using federal funding from the final round of the Ike recovery project to finish some of the work we have left to do,” Roccaforte added. “We still have some roads left to repair and our waste water system, but I think we will probably be done with all that in about another year. We are 98 percent done and looking good.”

The Bridge City Independent School District sustained damage to all of its campuses in some form, some more than others. The damage was so bad at its two elementary schools that a new state of the art elementary school which opened in August 2011.

Enrollment has increased every year since the storm and has surpassed pre-Hurricane Ike figures as more than 2,700 students currently attend class at the district’s four campuses. This is a 17 percent increase when compared to figures before Ike.

“Our population is a little more than it was prior to the storm, which is good,” Roccaforte added. “We still have homes for sale and a few that need to be addressed from the storm, but things are going great and we hope to make through the rest of this hurricane season with no issues.”

Even though Roccaforte knows the work is not completed yet, he feels a sense of pride knowing how much has been accomplished.

“I get comments from political figures and elected figures all of the time on how well Bridge City has done since the storm,” he said. “It’s truly an honor to be the mayor of this city and to represent this community.”

Text Only
Our Community
  • Newly formed Historic Orange Preservation Empowerment to help homeowners

    Historic Orange Preservation Empowerment (HOPE) has been formed to “support, facilitate, and improve the economic, cultural, aesthetic, historic, social, and environmental setting, well-being, and quality of life in Orange and Orange County, Texas.”

    July 24, 2014

  • Land speaks to Kiwanis Kiwanis Club gets schooled on LSC-O’s EMS program

    Rickey Land believes there’s no reason why every person shouldn’t know CPR.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rotary lunch speaker Food for thought

    Dan Maher, Executive Director of the Southeast Texas Food Bank, was the guest speaker at Monday’s Vidor Rotary Club meeting. He spoke about the food bank's many programs.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholarship Recipients Orange Rotary Club announces scholarship winners

    For years, Orange Rotary Club has supported its local youth with scholarship award opportunities for higher education.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Award of Excellence Hester receives Award of Excellence

    Texas 4-H Youth and Development 2014 Salute to Excellence Honoree is Kathy Hester of Orange County. Mrs. Hester has been a part of 4-H for over 30 years. She is the club manager for the Mighty Pirates 4-H in Vidor.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dance conference to be held July 19

    Mt. Olive Baptist Church and M.B.S. Dance Company presents the “Something To Dance About” Dance Conference.

    July 11, 2014

  • New Officers Announced VHS Interact Club installs new officers

    The Vidor High School Interact officers for the 2014-2015 school year are, from second at left to right: President Taylor Frazier, Vice President Tiffany Charleston, Secretary Madison Marino and Treasurer Mallory Gray. They are pictured with Rotary Assistant District Governor Bobby Simon of Nederland. Interact is a Rotary affiliate.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officers installed Vidor Rotary installs new officers

    Vidor Rotary Club officers for the 2014-2015 year, pictured with Assistant Governor Bobby Simon, are left to right, President Darrellyn Ford, Secretary Gayle Nagai, and Treasurer Johnnie Brown.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Business of the Month Business of the Month

    The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce recognized Reliable Dry Cleaners as its Business of the Month during its Monthly Networking Coffee held at the Bridge City Library earlier this month.

    June 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Literacy Promotion Month

    Vidor Rotarians Gayle Nagai, at left, and Leslie Williamson love literacy. Here they are joining in Rotary International's Literacy Promotion Month, June.

    June 28, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide