Ike aftermath news and resources

September 30, 2008 10:07:36 AM PDT
Get a quick check of the latest headlines in the aftermath of Hurricane IkeROAD TO RECOVERY: How you can help | School closings | Person locator | Important phone numbers | Assistance from FEMA | Filing a claim | Latest power numbers

Boat debris causing problems

Before the hurricane, the El Lago Marina had seventy slips and was nearly full of boats. The storm tossed a lot of those boats onto land. The other boats were submerged and are now leaking toxic fluids.

The unified command based out of Pasadena is working to clean up the area.

Missing people

More than two weeks after hurricane, more than 300 people are still missing and the Laura Recovery Center is trying to connect them with their loved ones.

The center has pictures posted on its web site of more than 360 cases that are unsolved, 25 are children. The center says some of the so-called missing are likely in shelters but relatives are having a hard time tracking them down. The Laura Recovery center is asking those who find their loved ones to notify them so they can be removed from the list of missing people. [SEE FULL STORY]

Local staff takes charge at UTMB

Medical services are gradually returning to the island. UTMB's emergency room is only equipped to offer basic first aid and immunizations right now, but starting Tuesday, patients with life-threatening injuries can be treated in two portable operating rooms. Patients will be wheeled into the rooms on a newly constructed ramp. The local staff is also back in charge. Disaster teams from across the country had been running it for the last two weeks.

Debris help

The state is considering yet another request for help to search those Hurricane Ike debris piles. The storm blew 52 acres of debris on to the southern part of Chambers County. Most of it from the Bolivar Peninsula. As we told you last Friday, just three sheriff's deputies were searching with no state or federal help. The county judge submitted a new request to the state emergency operations center Monday. The governor's homeland security chief is trying to put together a team to assist.

More power restored

Another 31,000 CenterPoint Energy customers got their lights back on today. The company says 114,000 are still without power tonight. That's 5% of total customers. Most of the remaining outages are on the east and northeast sides.

Working on traffic lights

On Monday afternoon, we flew over several intersections in northwest Houston where the street lights were still not working or blinking red and you can see how traffic was affected. Officials say approximately 700 of the city's intersections are still not functioning correctly.

Mail delivery resumes on Galveston Island
Mail delivery started back up in Galveston. However, the main post office on Rosenberg will remain closed for the time being.

The temporary mail pickup site in La Marque will continue operations for anyone requiring the service.

Galveston residents are being asked to repair or replace their mailboxes so that mail can be delivered. Mail will only be delivered to homes and businesses that are accessible and safe, so residents are asked to be patient.

Religious bread shortage blamed on Ike

Hurricane Ike is being blamed for a limited supply of Challah bread in the Houston area. The bread is a big part of tradition for Jewish families commemorating Rosh Hashanah -- the Jewish New Year. It begins at sundown tonight.

According to a local newspaper, Three Brothers Bakery," which supplies Challah bread for many families, remains closed after suffering major damage during Hurricane Ike.

Other bakeries are trying to pick up the slack, but time is running out.

First mass held on Galveston Island

For the first time since Ike, parishioners were able to attend Sunday mass on Galveston Island.

At Saint Patrick parish, people packed the church to hear Cardinal Daniel DiNardo's message. Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas and some service workers from other states were in attendance.

The church, which is a Texas historical landmark, was not seriously damaged by the storm.

Schools reopen

Several school districts closed because of Hurricane Ike are opening their doors again.

Teachers at Bellaire spent the weekend getting their rooms back in order. Bellaire was one of a few remaining schools that did not get power back until Friday.

Several other districts re-opening today are:

  • Clear Creek ISD
  • Galena Park ISD
  • Goose Creek ISD
  • La Porte ISD
  • North Forest ISD is open except for a handful of schools
  • Pasadena ISD

    Courts resume

    Jury duty resumes today for all trials. Jurors were excused earlier this month due to Hurricane Ike and a number of hearings had to be cancelled.

    Red light camera hearings also resume today along with all parking hearings.

    Transitional housing soon

    Homes have been destroyed, but people are trying to move on following Hurricane Ike. However, some don't even have places to stay. And it's making the road to recovery tough. From Houston to Baytown, there are hundreds of families still living in shelters. Many families are in shelters because they had no power. Many of them have returned home, but others who can't return home are in shelters indefinitely.

    FEMA and HUD are working on a temporary housing plan for people displaced by Ike. They want to put people in apartments rather than some of the trailers we saw following Hurricane Katrina. [FULL STORY]

    Tons of trash on the island

    The road to recovery means hauling away tons of trash and debris piled up in Galveston. The city estimates 1.5 -million cubic yards of trash is scattered across the island. Two contractors have been hired to pick up the trash. The project will cost $25 to 50 million. Meantime, two sites have been set up to store and sort the debris. The city says it could take six months to a year before all the trash is gone.

    Parking lot services

    A missing roof isn't stopping Sunday services for a Pearland congregation. Members of the Garden Road Baptist Church worshipped under a tent in the parking lot instead Sunday. Ike peeled off the roof of the church and all the furniture and equipment inside got soaked by the storm. Bricks and debris litter the parking lot, but the pastor says he'll continue holding services outdoors until he can find a temporary home.

    Tragic discoveries near Bolivar Peninsula

    There are more tragic discoveries following the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. Officials believe they found the bodies of two victims of the storm near the Bolivar Peninsula. According to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, one was found near Pelican Island, the other near Goat Island. The names of those victims haven't been released.

    Dead animals causing problems

    As officials continue to search for storm victims in Chambers County, they are encountering a problem. Dead animals in the piles of debris are making it difficult for cadaver dogs to distinguish the scent of humans. Among the dead animals are an estimated 20,000 heads of cattle. They died from drinking saltwater and eating contaminated grass. County Judge Jimmy Sylvia says the situation is becoming a public health problem.

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