Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Galveston residents to return home to what is left (or not left)

Tomorrow marks the day that Galveston evacuees are allowed to return to their homes. People that have been back already tell of how bad it is: to bring masks, gloves, high boots, and be ready to face heartbreak. For some who were lucky, they only have to deal with first floor flooding. This means getting rid of all the furniture and appliances on the first floor, pulling up the flooring, and tearing out the walls, dealing with mold everywhere.

For those who weren't so lucky, it means tearing down the home completely (or what was left of it) and starting over. In the meantime, these people are homeless. Many are now jobless as well, at least until Galveston is up and running again, or they move elsewhere to find work.

What else do they face when they return to Galveston? The sewer system is leaking; the water pressure is so low that there is a boil water order in place; the ER room in the hospital can barely handle urgent care, let alone a car accident or heart attack victim; and did I mention that there is no electricity yet? Many of Wade's co-workers in the judicial system no longer have homes, cars, clothes, or any other possessions that we all take for granted. They are scrambling to try to find housing, which is basically non-existent in the areas around Houston. How can you house 40,000 displaced people in an area where housing is at a premium? They are bunking with family and friends on the mainland, or living in tents on their Galveston property and using make-shift outdoor grills to prepare food.

For these photos and MORE GO HERE

Photo 1
by Rick Bowmer for AP
Joan Harden removes debris from her mother-in-law's home today in Galveston. The home was hit by flood waters.

Photo 2 by Rick Bowmer for AP
Scot Adams helps demolish a house destroyed by Hurricane Ike today in Galveston.

Photo 3
by Rick Bowmer for AP
Donna Lawe, who weathered Hurricane Ike at her home, is shown washing her clothes while preparing to cook breakfast today in Galveston.

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