Galveston has been called one of the most haunted cities in the country, and the stay at home orders only enhanced that image. The streets of the island city were deserted as inhabitants adhered to the precautionary measures enacted by the county and later by the governor.
The streets along the Strand and Mechanic Streets were mostly deserted throughout the day. Early morning sea fog only enhanced the eeriness of the surreal scene. It’s very reminiscent of the opening of the classic soap opera Dark Shadows.
Breaking the ghost town feel was the sight of a few restaurants doing business by taking out only. Cruise ships sat idle with skeleton crews longing for the tourists with rolling luggage wearing Bermuda shorts.
After Texas Governor Greg Abbott allowed the stay at home order to expire on April 30, most businesses and restaurants were allowed to open, albeit with limited capacity. On May 1 crowd began returning to enjoy the nice spring weather and begin reconnecting with friends. Beaches, which had been closed since March 29, were opened and strewn with sunbathers and surfers.
The pictures included here show the city and beaches during the shutdown and the return of life beginning the first weekend of May.
For visitors planning to take the drive down I-45 South, remember Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough signed a new order that allows the city to issue $500 fines to people found in violation of Gov. Abbott’s orders, such as not social distancing, and which encourage but don’t require people to wear a mask, reports GalvNews.com.
The Galveston City Council extended its disaster declaration through May 31. Keeping the emergency declaration in place ensures the city can still access federal disaster funding and can act quickly if needed, the mayor said. Galveston’s gay bars, Robert’s Lafitte, Rumors, and 23rd Street Station, remain closed until the governor gives the green light for bars, salons, and gyms to reopen.