By PAMELA CODY
Special to the PRESS
While news of the collapse of the Queen Isabella Causeway may have been lost in a national media frenzy, following as it did on the heels of the chaos of 9/11, for the communities of South Padre Island and Port Isabel, it was equally as devastating as the catastrophes unfolding in New York City, Arlington, Virginia and Pennsylvania. This year marks the 15th anniversary of that fateful day, and members of both cities gathered at the foot of the Causeway in Port Isabel to remember the eight lives lost, and to pay tribute to the survivors and loved ones who were left behind.
Valerie Bates, Port Isabel resident for 36 years, recalled how events unfolded during those early morning hours on Sept. 15, 2011. “It brings back a lot of memories. I ran down here with my camera at 4:30 in the morning and didn’t stop shooting until the grand opening in November, so I ended up documenting it for TxDOT.”
Bates paused, searching for the words to describe her feelings, saying, “It was impactful to the community and to me personally. It was so catastrophic and then doubly impactful because it was just four days after 9/11, so we were all very hyper-sensitive, and this was just an unthinkable possibility.”
Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.