Preparing for a potentially grim day

September 19, 2008 4:36:37 AM PDT
Friday morning, we'll hear more about the grim recovery process in Chambers County to recover bodies, some all the way from Galveston County. HURRICANE IKE: Breaking news on Ike | POD locations | Person locator | Local gas station report | Hurricane guide | Viewer photos of Ike | Latest power numbers

There are a number of health concerns, both for humans and animals as well.

We're at a huge staging area for power crews. It's also the site for hay and water distribution for livestock. Besides the loss of hundreds of homes here in Chambers County, there's a significant loss of cattle due to the storm and what they need to live.

Once a Bay front community, Oak Island is now a of vast field of lumber, boats and trash. Crabbing is a big industry here. Cattle is another. There are thousands of head here in Chambers County. Hundreds did not make it and the air is getting ripe.

Sherry Sanford watched as a contractor removed a dead cow from behind her home today. Two washed up, victims of the storm surge. Removing them is a priority because of health concerns.

For the livestock that made it through the storm, sustaining them is becoming a problem. They can go without food for some time, but water is the problem. Salt water has contaminated many freshwater sources. It is also killing acres and acres of grass.

Ranchers are in desperate need of hay and water tanks. They're taking care of what's alive, removing what's dead and preparing for the fatalities they are still expecting to find.

And preparing themselves, too, for the human fatalities they could find tomorrow, people who perhaps died in the storm surge from Bolivar Peninsula and then washed up here in Chambers County with all of that debris. Cadaver dogs are expected here in the county Friday.

If you want to help ranchers by donating hay or water tanks, you can call the Texas Department of Agriculture at 877-429-1998.

Keep your family safe this hurricane season. Check our complete tropical weather preparation guide


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