"The Most Powerful Pages on the Planet"
September 14, 2008
Volume 1 - No.17
Darwin Campbell, Executive Publisher
A Bi-Weekly Publication
HURRICANE IKE AFTERMATH
Evacuees Warned Not to Re-Enter Damage Areas Prematurely
Lone Star Power Pages
GALVESTON- Emergency management officials are appealing to residents of Texas and Louisiana who evacuated in advance of Hurricane Ike's landfall to stay put.
"This hurricane has caused devastation across areas of Texas and Louisiana," said David Paulison, Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Along with our federal, state and local partners, FEMA is working around the clock to get live–saving assistance into the hardest hit areas. We need everyone's cooperation to keep passable roads clear and to prevent those returning from placing additional burdens on the limited shelter, food and water in the heavily impacted areas."
More than 2 million residents in Texas and Louisiana heeded evacuation orders and made the safe choice to leave areas threatened by Hurricane Ike.
Early reports indicate that hundreds of thousands of customers are without power in impacted areas, and for some, it may be as much as four to six weeks before power and other essential utilities are fully restored.
“We've got a lot of people who have moved out,” said Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff. “We've got a significant number of people, thousands in shelters, and again they ought to stay put until it is safe to return.”
Returning residents could face blocked and washed out roads, downed power lines across highways, unsafe road crossings due to flooding and many other dangers. Many storm related deaths occur when residents return to their communities and homes, a statistic FEMA is trying to minimize in Ike's wake.
"We know people are anxious to return home, but we are asking for everyone’s patience in waiting for the all clear," said Paulison. "Our greatest concern is the safety of Texas and Louisiana residents, first responders and rescue workers."
Gov. Rick Perry said the focus is on search and rescue and security and cleanup in areas of Orange, East Harris County and Galveston bore the brunt of storm.
Power and utilities are out throughout a number of counties including Galveston, Houston, Harris, Chambers, Orange, and Jefferson.
According to Perry, flooding remains a problem and officials will focus on clean up and repairing heavy damage to infrastructure.
“Until we get the area stabilized, Galveston Island will be closed to all but emergency and first-responder vehicles,” Perry said. “Residents who rode out the storm will be allowed to remain, but others will not be allowed back until it is deemed safe.”
The National Family Emergency Registry is up and running. It is a locator system for families and children.
The phone number is 1-800-588-9822 and is open 24 hours a day to register so family members can locate loved ones.