Chambers County & Smith Point Update And Status

“Smith Point.”

The author, Jennifer Anderson, is the wife of Fred Anderson, President of the Smith Point Fire Department. Read paragraph three:

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By: Jennifer Anderson
Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:35 am Post subject: Ryan Holzaepfel daily update

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I tried to post this once, but for some reason I can’t find it. This is from Ryan Holzaepfel, the Emergency Management Coordinator for Chambers County. He plans on making daily updates from now on.
We just today were able to get email access going. I will try to send out these Daily Situation Reports every day.

First of all, Ike was pretty much an equal opportunity disaster. In other words, destruction happened from one end of the county to the other. What we do see, is much more destruction in the lower lying areas like Oak Island and Smith Point, . For certain, Oak Island is the community which we have seen the most extensive damage, and by that I mean the entire community was almost completely destroyed. Most of the houses are completely gone and by that I mean they actually are not THERE.

Right now, the state focus is still search and rescue. Three persons were found alive yesterday that washed ashore into Chambers County from Galveston Co (Bolivar, Crystal Beach, etc.). Today, 3 more persons were found alive. This is incredible. We have spoken to them and they have amazing stories. However, there are also some who were not so fortunate. So, just so you will understand, the state is trying to save as many lives as they can right now, before it is too late. When they complete that, they will shift into full-blown recovery.

We do not have food, water, and ice distribution points ready. We just now today got email working. We are having severe communications trouble thoughout the county, but this is improving day by day. Many landlines, I am told, are working.

We are waiting on state resources consisting of food, water, and ice. They say they are on the way, but we have only received one truck and it went fast.

When distribution does start, it will be at Cedar Bayou Community building, Winnie Community Building, Barbers Hill Middle School, and Anahuac High School.

We are trying to set up shelters, but do not have them ready. We are trying to get generators for shelters and food etc. for the shelters. When are are able to establish this, we will distribute the word about distribution points for food and water, as well as shelters.

I have seen many electrical trucks flooding into the county to begin utility repairs. We have no idea when services will be restored.

We are not prohibiting any residents from entering the county. There were some misconceptions and rumors going around, but they are not true. We are not making anyone leave, nor prohibiting them from entering as long as they are a resident. We still have curfews, but that is to ensure persons that do not belong here are not roaming the streets and stealing your stuff.

You have to understand, if you do return, we have nothing to give you at this point. We have no shelters, no food, no water, no ice. Hardly any stores are open, even in Baytown and surrounding areas. Gas stations have large lines, and shortages. We have police at stations that are open to control problems.

Please try to understand the magnitude of this storm. It has possibly been 100 years since a storm causing this type of devastation has hit Chambers County. We have estimated that the last storms this severe in our area were in 1900 or 1915.
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