In hurricane-ravaged town, holiday brings hope

SAN LEON, TX [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

It was a day for Hurricane Ike survivors to reunite under white tents, to pull into a parking lot for boxes of food, and to receive help from volunteers just as in the bleak days after the September 13th storm.

The town of 4,200 where many make a living from fishing, shrimping and oystering was nearly crippled by the storm. About 900 people lost their homes, with as many as 1,500 of the 1,800 houses there damaged by the storm. Ike also wiped out about half of the bay's oysters and shredded fishing boats.

But yesterday, smiles replaced the grim faces. Families broke bread side-by-side, not scattered by evacuation. There was hope, not despair.

And this time, there were countless reminders of the strength that can be forged by tragedy.

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