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Hurricane Ike Recovery, Texas Style

September 14, 2008

Bush heads to Texas as Galvestonians urged to leave

Ike survivors may wait weeks for hot meals, baths

Most People Will Recover Without Long-Term Effects, Mental Health Pros Say

After the storm: Floating coffins and prowling alligators amid Hurricane Ike’s £7bn trail of destruction

County by county: Some are letting evacuees return

After Ike, livestock dying for lack of water Hurricane takes terrible toll on cattle, crops in Southeast Texas.

20,000 cattle, horses wandering in SE Texas

Livestock Highlights: Ike Drowns ‘Thousands’ Cattle, Credit Crisis, Tyson Foods

Ike Drowns ‘Thousands’ Cattle-Texas Farm Bureau Spokesman

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–“Thousands” of head of cattle were drowned as the storm surge from Hurricane Ike swept through South Texas, and approximately 15,000 head remain in danger, said a spokesman for the Texas Farm Bureau. “The (approximately 15,000) cattle that are left are uncontained. The (storm) surge took out a high percentage of fences,” said the spokesman, Gene Hall. None of the member feedyards of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association have reported any damage from Hurricane Ike, said Don Close, market analyst at TCFA. He said the storm damage was well east of the state’s major cattle feeding region. TCFA’s offices are in Amarillo.

Hurricane Recovery: Contacts for Texas Livestock Owners, Rescue Crews

From the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC):

Animal response to Hurricane Ike continues to be a team effort, as the issues are much larger than the resources of any one agency or association. The TAHC statewide has worked with the livestock industry to establish sites for emergency shelters, and with local governments, agencies, and associations to develop animal issues committees.

The Texas Animal Health Commission is supporting the disaster district committees in the affected area with persons who have animal and livestock expertise. The agency has established a small area command in the Austin headquarters, and is one of more than 30 agencies in the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management. The TAHC’s Area Command can be reached at 800/550-8242, ext 296.

Politicians, FEMA blame each other for relief missteps

It didn’t take long for the finger-pointing to begin.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency came under fire Sunday as emergency workers were left undernourished and dozens of trucks of water and food had yet to be set up at distribution centers around Houston and surrounding communities.

Taking sides

State officials said that was a local responsibility, which came as a surprise to Houston Mayor Bill White and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

“If I could have known something 18 hours ago, we could have made plans to pick up something a lot quicker, that’s a fact,” White said.

But he added: “Whatever the little drama was is only a matter of hours, not days.”

Disaster officials respond to shelter complaints

Evacuees have criticized a lack of bedding, food.

Bridge City steeped in mildew, mud and rot

Bayou town’s waterlogged homes, survivors begin to emerge from Ike’s storm surge.

CenterPoint supplies power to 1 in 4 customers

Returning home to the Houston area

If you evacuated from Houston or its surrounding communities for Hurricane Ike, please wait to return home until your city leaders give their public approval.

In Houston Mayor Bill White issued a citywide curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. until Sept. 20.

Also, City officials said the boil advisory would be extended indefinitely as water could not be deemed safe until water pressure was back at normal levels and samples could be tested for safety.

Causeway damage extent unknown
GALVESTON —State officials say southbound lanes of the Galveston Causeway won’t be reopened until engineers can inspect it and see if it is structurally sound.

LeBlanc: Some residents might never return
GALVESTON — Hurricane Ike will change Galveston, said city manager Steve LeBlanc. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

Dallas-Fort Worth shelters brace for long stay for evacuees

Ike’s U.S. death toll hits 30

Rescuers beg people to stay away, but many clog roads home anyway.

Americans witnessed Mayor White’s hands-on management style when he helped lead Houston’s competent, compassionate response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Now, the day after the worst “Direct Hit” since Hurricane Carla, Mayor Bill White is faced with walking the talk!

“Politicians often reply that we just need more political will, usually defined as voting for them. But by now we know that legislation alone does not ensure that no child is left behind or FEMA will respond. Effective public service requires that we both enlist and empower the best executive talent in our nation, people who know how to get things done.”

White points his finger at Center Point Energy …

The roads are not safe and caution with them may be fading too quickly, Texas media outlets say. “Houston Mayor Bill White just told residents to get off the roads and quit driving around,” the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports. “You endanger our rescue personnel when you go out, he said.” The Houston Chronicle has more quotes from the mayor’s press conference, including this one, “No matter how brave you feel, we do not need to be rescuing people on the road.”  White told Center Point, who “owns and operates the wires” that bring electricity to the Houston area must get power restored ASAP.

Bush Declares Texas, Louisiana Disaster Areas

Houston Chronicle front page:

I have watched Mayor White update the news media several times and am quite impressed with his take charge, no nonsense style.  This is a decider who Walks the Talk!  This is a Texan who matches Texas history.  He holds court with all the surrounding governments, and knows that the region of communities surrounding Houston, are intertwined and co-dependent.  White’s infrastructure marriage with county, state and federal resources has demonstrated more success, because it bypasses local political empires.  Southeast Texas, Southwest Louisiana are devastated.  If the organized approach that Bill White commands is successful, the disaster impact will be shorter and less traumatic than Katrina.  This is a huge task for the population of this region.  Organization, accountability and fair treatment will decide the fates of everyone effected.

If Bill White can shine by recovering from this disaster, like he did helping Katrina evacuees, he is indeed a man we need on a national platform.  If he runs for Senate or Governer, I will be on his bandwagon.

Just as a matter of interest, I found these provocative headlines.

HARNESSING WEATHER: ALLEGATIONS SURFACE THAT U.S. & RUSSIA HAVE TECHNOLOGY TO MANAGE HURRICANES

The U.S. government routinely conducts experiments on weather modification

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