It will be quite some time before Galveston is itself again, but the homecoming for residents who live behind the Seawall is a major step towards that goal.
Some residents who returned found nothing left of their homes. Many others found their homes still standing, but what they found inside was devastating.
"I was in shock," said Galveston Resident Lorie Knotts. "Things were moved around."
It's the kind of reaction we're hearing over and over as people get a close look at their homes on Galveston Island for the first time since Hurricane Ike.
"I thought I was going to come back to something, but I've got nothing," said Galveston resident Darrel Warner.
Warner took us into what was once his bedroom. Now, its' a scrambled, mold-ridden mess with a visible water line on the wall of four to five feet.
"When I came back home, it really hit because everything was out of order," he said. "My TV was gone. My dresser, everything was completely gone."
Not only is the inside of the house a mess, the outside didn't fare any better. In the front yard, there's a truck that doesn't even belong to the Warner family.
"I'm pretty sure we're not going to stay here because, as you can see, this isn't a nice little home anymore," said Warner.
Like Warner, Knotts is in shock. She thought her family would camp out in the front yard. But now, it's not likely they'll stay.
"I didn't imagine it would be this bad," she said. "I didn't."
And with so much devastation all over the island, it's no wonder some people won't stay.
A 'look and leave' policy is still in effect for Galveston's west end. Residents can go take a look at their property, but must be off the island by 6pm.
A 'look and leave' policy for the Bolivar Peninsula could take effect as early as Friday. Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough says it all depends on how quickly road crews make temporary repairs to the heavily damaged bridge at Rollover Pass. Without that bridge, the only way to reach Port Bolivar is by boat or helicopter.
Current Conditions in Galveston
Supplies You Will Need to Bring