Town pulls together in wake of Ike

November 13, 2008 4:40:39 PM PST
It has been exactly two months since Hurricane Ike slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast, and a lot of people are just now getting the help they need clearing debris and cleaning up their neighborhoods. ROAD TO RECOVERY: How you can help | Person locator | Important phone numbers | Assistance from FEMA | Filing a claim

People who live in Smith Point have been surrounded by devastation for weeks. So much still needs to be done. You can see destruction everywhere you turn, but a lot has already been accomplished. What people in Chambers County are saying is the most effective action is neighbors helping neighbors.

Jerry Wilson doesn't like to dwell on the devastation that wiped out homes in his neighborhood. He'd rather spend time helping his neighbor rebuild. But when you own a home on Smith Point, it's hard not to relive Ike's destruction.

"There was debris piled up all around the roads," Wilson recalled. "You could barely drive down the roads."

Two months after Ike struck, where once there were mountains of debris, now there are just piles. The American flags are out and many families are living inside their homes. But judging by the constant traffic at the town's debris drop-off point, so much work remains.

"We're only going to take it until Sunday," cautioned a debris drop-off worker. "Sunday is the last day."

So, if you're looking for a way to give back, this town is looking for a few good volunteers.

"We'll take every group who wants to volunteer," said homeowner Jennifer Anderson. "Tell them to come to Smith Point."

Homeowners say a number of groups from around the country have come to help, and Chambers County is cleaning up the debris as well. The sheer volume makes clean up take longer than what residents are hoping for. At least two FEMA trailers have been placed on homeowners' properties. Residents hope more come, sooner rather than later.

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