Forgotten feeling on Bolivar Peninsula

October 17, 2008 5:01:25 PM PDT
Paradise lost, the devastated Bolivar Peninsula may never be the same after Hurricane Ike. But residents are not giving up and they're telling Eyewitness News they need more help to get back on their feet. ROAD TO RECOVERY: How you can help | Person locator | Important phone numbers | Assistance from FEMA | Filing a claim

More than a month after Ike literally wiped out parts of the Bolivar Peninsula, residents who've been trying to rebuild tell us they feel forgotten. Supplies, food, and water are getting harder to find with residents having to lean on each other more to get by.

While life for many of us is slowly returning to normal in the month since the storm, the people affected most by the storm say it's getting harder and harder to find the basic necessities.

"We probably have enough left for three or four days and that's It," said business owner Karen Gatlin.

Gatlin is talking about ice and water for residents and the scores of workers involved in the recovery. She owns the Tiki Bar on Crystal Beach and has made it her mission to dole out food and water to anyone who wants it.

Doing so has become increasingly difficult, ever since FEMA packed up its pod and moved out.

"We were told, 'Get all you want because we're leaving and we're not coming back'," said Gatlin.

"Why?" we asked.

"We don't know," she answered.

FEMA hasn't deserted the peninsula. We stopped by its registration center in High Island in search of answers.

Ice in Crystal Beach is still available, but apparently not water. We found Bolivar residents helping themselves at two unmanned trailer.

"One minute, they have water. The next minute, they don't," said Paula Lowry, who we found stocking up on ice. "They keep closing (the trailers) down and opening them up, closing them down and opening them up."

Back at the Tiki Bar, where the supply of ice and water is diminishing, Gatlin is also running out of options.

"We'll be alright," said Gatlin. "We can go get ours. But we can't bring enough back every day for the workers to have ice and water."

Bolivar residents now have more daylight to assess and repair damage to their homes. Galveston County officials changed to curfew. It is now 6pm to 6am instead of 2pm to 6am. Galveston County officials hope to start assessing damaged homes next week.

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