Galveston evacuees return to island after Hurricane Laura stayed east

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After fearing the worst, Galveston neighbors were able to safely return to the island with gratitude after Hurricane Laura stayed to the east.

As the hurricane made its way through the Gulf, the rough waters made some residents nervous.

However, sounds of clean-up could be heard not long after Laura made landfall. Neighbors weren't cleaning up debris, but removing boards from windows.

"A sense of relief," resident Shreyas Modi said. "I've been through Ike and it was like a war zone. Minor damage is okay, but having to rebuild is a big challenge for anyone."
Unlike Hurricane Ike, Laura didn't bring severe damage to the island.

"Nothing like having boats in the middle of the street, or in the middle of I-45 like I saw with Ike," Modi said.

The relief was also for small business owners.

Pete and Taryn Van Hengstum unscrewed the boards from undamaged windows of their business. "I think we feel like most people in this area," Pete said. "A little bit relieved, that it hasn't caused more impacts."

The couple bought the building along the strand months ago. This was their first hurricane warning which was luckily a dry-run that prepared them for future storms.

"We don't have a tall enough ladder," Taryn said. "So, we'll have to get a taller one, and more muscle."

"I feel sad for the Louisiana community, but at the same time, this island has been through a lot, and it's great that we dodged a bullet," Modi explained.

City leaders said those buses full of evacuees will soon arrive. The city's curfew that was supposed to be enforced until Thursday has been canceled.

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