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  • Thousands of Hurricane Ike victims wait for relief
    Wednesday, September 17, 2008
    HOUSTON - Tens of thousands of evacuees continued to wait yesterday for food, water and ice, for the electricity to return to their homes or for their first hot meal and shower.

    As more Hurricane Ike relief was on the way, President George W. Bush viewed devastated areas, and urged people across the country to donate money to speed recovery.

    The number of distribution centers was to be quadrupled to 60 to deliver food, water and ice. Still, for some, the wait for a return to normalcy could be days. For others, it could be weeks.

    "A good bath would be nice: have the fire department swing by and spray us down," said Carlos Silliman, 48, as he sat on a picnic bench in front of his Galveston Island home, where 18 inches of water flooded his garage and ruined a freezer full of venison. "I'm ready to have a cold beer and read the paper."
    Many service stations have no gasoline, and some major highways remain under water. More than 30,000 evacuees are still living in nearly 300 public shelters, and roughly 2 million people in Texas alone are without power.

    Ike's survivors have walked for miles and waited for hours at supply distribution centers, gobbling up all that was offered: 1 million bottles of water, 1 million meals and 600,000 pounds of ice in the first 36 hours after the storm passed. It's not enough, and those dispatching truck after truck to distribution centers know it. One center near Houston drew 10,000 people Monday in search of food and water.

    Bush took an aerial tour of the damage yesterday. He warned against letting "disaster fatigue" slow donations when the need remains great.

    Recovering from Ike is going to be a long process: Beaches are scoured clean of vacation homes and coated with a sheen of oil-slicked water. In Galveston, even burial vaults were wrenched from the soggy ground by the storm's surge.

    Through Galveston's deserted streets, dogs, cats, and cattle roamed free. The elderly huddled in damaged houses, walking or using bikes when they had to leave because cars were destroyed or damaged.

    Across the entrance to Galveston Bay on Bolivar Peninsula, where entire neighborhoods were obliterated, Aaron Reed, a spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said residents hadn't been able to find fellow holdouts after the storm, and feared bodies might turn up as the waters recede.

    Ike's death toll stood at 41, with most of them coming outside Texas. At least three Texans died of carbon monoxide poisoning after using generators.

    newsday.com
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 5:22 PM  
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    The tropical cyclone data presented at this site are intended to convey only general information on current storms and must not be used to make life or death decisions or decisions relating to the protection of property: the data may not be accurate. If you are in the path of a storm you should be listening to official information sources. These data have no official status and should not be used for emergency response decision-making under any circumstances

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