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October 6th, 2008
12:45 PM ET

In storm-ravaged Galveston, echoes of New Orleans

Hilary Hylton
TIME Magazine

It is has been three weeks since Hurricane Ike blew ashore on Galveston Island bringing up to 20 feet of Gulf waters over the low-lying land, killing a still yet to be determined number of residents — several hundred remain missing — and inflicting billions of dollars in damage. The television satellite trucks and cable news stars are gone and the nation's collective eye has turned elsewhere. But thousands of area residents now live in a stench-filled world where the incongruous is normal and the dangerous real.

The slow descent into the Looking Glass land that hurricanes create begins just south of Houston along Interstate Highway 45, the road to Galveston Island. The first odd note is the number of blown out billboards and signs. The gold has gone from the Golden Arches, the toll-free phone number on the billboard for the class action law firm has been torn and tossed to the wind. Then the blue tarps begin to appear, stretched taut over the rooftops of strip malls and apartment buildings.

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Filed under: Hurricane Ike
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Don J Davis Jr

    PS LET"S GIVE THE 700 BILLION TO THE REDCROSS AN SEE WHO FAIRS OUT THE VICTOR

    IN GOD WE TRUST

    Don J Davis JR.

    October 6, 2008 at 8:47 pm |
  2. Don J Davis Jr

    How can we as U.S. citizens allowed the GOV. to bailout wall street when so many of of our citizens are without homes inLA. and Tx. do to the last few hurrcaines. They can give wall street 700BILLION but can't give THE REDCROSS 150 million to help asst. those who have lost everything. lets talk about that

    IN GOD WE TRUST

    Don J Davis JR

    October 6, 2008 at 8:28 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    In reading what bits of news I could find about Galveston in the weeks following Hurricane Ike I have wondered if the government response was any better for Galveston than it was for New Orleans after Katrina. Have the lessons from Katrina taken hold and resulted in better and more prompt intervention? It would be an interesting report to see if any real improvement has been made.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 6, 2008 at 7:02 pm |
  4. Stacy

    Thanks for this. I used to say that I wished Hurricane Katrina had happened during an election year, because politicians' own self interests would have propelled them to go the extra mile to help. Now, after seeing what scant media coverage Ike has gotten amidst the election and economic meltdown, I think my theory was all wrong. I shudder to think how much worse the aftermath of Katrina could have played out if the eye of the media had been focused on other major news stories. Maybe after the election 360 can head down to Texas to see how they're recovering?

    October 6, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  5. Bunny Bennett

    Unfortunately Galveston was not the only community victimized by Ike. Kemah, San Leon, Bacliff, Baytown, Texas City, Hitchcock, Chambers County, Jefferson County, Bolivar just to name a few were also severly damaged by this storm. I have lived in this area since 1984 and I have never seen such destruction. There is not one home or business that has not sustained some degree of damage. Where houses once stood there are only vacant lots. Not even debris remains to indicate that there were once homes. Parking lots are full of cars tumbled together like tinker toys. UTMB Medical Center is closed, there was over 3 feet of water inside the facility. I think it will be many years before our beloved community has began to recover from it's losses.

    October 6, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  6. Cherisa

    With the media focused on the economy and the election, it seems these stories fall to the wayside. AC360 kept Katrina recovery in the spotlight; please do the same for those affected by Ike in Texas, Louisiana, and don't forget Haiti.

    October 6, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  7. Thomas

    As an American on the left coast ,and over a thousand miles away.
    How can I help our brothers and sisters in the Galveston area ?
    The convention in the twin cities seems like months ago.
    Wall St bail out.

    PRIORITY GALVESTON

    October 6, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  8. Cindy

    Great article! I hope that you all will keep us up to date as to the goings on in Galveston and the surrounding areas. It seems that the media has totally moved on from it and the people there are being forgotten by all of America.

    Cindy...Ga.

    October 6, 2008 at 1:16 pm |