Boats were found piled up on top of one another in marinas windows were blown out as Hurricane Ike ripped through a wide arch of Texas Saturday, including Houston, home to approximately 2.2 million people, according to The New York Times.
The sea wall that protects the coastal barrier island of Galveston where Ike arrived, is piled high with boats, wrecked buildings and other debris. With gusts reaching 200 miles per hour, the 600-mile-wide Category 2 hurricane has created an estimated $18 billion-dollar price tag in damage. However, it still isn’t as catastrophic as officials first feared, according to the report.
“Fortunately the worst-case scenario did not occur,” says Texas Gov. Rick Perry. “The good news is the surge was not as big as we’d thought it would be.”
However, rescuers say they had saved nearly 2,000 people from waterlogged streets in Houston by Sunday afternoon. Many who had ignored evacuation orders found themselves boarding buses for indefinite stays at shelters in San Antonio and Austin, according to the Associated Press.
Steven Rushing of Galveston finally left his house by boat, retrieving it from the garage and loading his two dogs and six family members into it.
“I know my house was dry at 11 o’clock, and by 12:30 a.m., we were floating on the couch, putting life jackets on,” he told The New York Times.
At least 10 oil production platforms were destroyed, and it is not yet known how this will affect gas prices. President Bush plans to arrive in the area today. So far, the storm has killed 28 in the U.S. and 80 in the Caribbean, according to the AP.
— Elizabeth Ellis