Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ike damage ‘worse than Katrina’

Disaster News Network: Residents got the first glimpse Tuesday of what was left of their homes here after Hurricane Ike decimated parts of the Texas coast. Elsewhere, nearly 30,000 evacuees remained in shelters amid reports of supplies, including food, water, ice and tarps to cover damaged roofs, being slow to arrive. Government officials also announced that it could be weeks before residents are allowed to return to their homes. Power was slowly being restored, but electricity to an estimated 550,000 to 1.1 million CenterPoint Energy customers was not expected to be back on until Tuesday.

"Houston . . . remains partly powered but severely crippled," noted Harvey Howell, a national response team member with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and president of the San Antonio Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. "Response will extend for weeks." Howell reported that infrastructure damage in at least four counties — Galveston, Chambers, Jefferson and Orange — was extensive. "An extended sheltering operation is forecast," he said.

"In some ways, Hurricane Ike may be worse than Katrina,” noted Jerry Klassen, disaster response coordinator for Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), referring to the huge swath of destruction Ike caused when it crashed ashore Sept. 13 as a Category 2 storm....

Damage to the JP Morgan Chase building in Houston, Texas after Hurricane Ike, shot by Adam Baker, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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