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.
Filed under: Hurricane Ike
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