3 Weeks After Hurricane Ike, The Search For Bodies Finally Begins

10/05/08: First Organized Body Search On Bolivar Peninsula: 7 Men, 1 Dog, 80 Square Miles To Cover

10/05/08: The stories of some who died…and some who are still missing.

Searchers and dog teams will begin looking for victims in the Hurricane Ike storm debris in Galveston and Chambers County, for the FIRST organized search and recovery. Why this is just NOW being done is very puzzling. Click here for video on the search.

The search will begin in Galveston today, and then move to Chambers County over the weekend. Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia has been asking for help from the governor’s office since DAY ONE. He says he’s confused by the delay, and that some of the missing from Galveston Island may have been blown across Galveston Bay into Chambers County.

“I don’t have a clue why it is taking so long. You know, it really should be Galveston County pushing because those are Galveston County folks that would be up here in my county.”

State Representative Craig Eiland says the delay is something that will have to be investigated. There are quite a FEW things that need to be investigated about Hurricane Ike. With over 400 people missing- and probably a lot more, the official death toll in Texas still only numbers in the 30’s. Lan Lamphere, photojournalist and witness to Ike’s fury, interviewed Tracy Turner who is desperately trying to find her sister and two nephews. She hasn’t had contact with them since Hurricane Gustav. Tracy posted here as well, trying to do anything and everything she can to find her family members. Snarkfood is frustrated…families are frantic. It is HIGH time we got some answers.

Still At Least 400 People Missing From Hurricane Ike

UPDATE 10/02/08:
3 Weeks After Hurricane Ike, The Search For Bodies Finally Begins
Listen to photojournalist Lan Lamphere of Oklahomaexpeditions.com and Snarkfood discuss the missing from Hurricane Ike. The Podcast Is Here.
Snarkfood is continuing its coverage of Hurricane Ike, which has virtually vanished from the mainstream media. Ike is mentioned only in reference to current gas shortages across the south. No national media are speaking of the devastation, save in passing, and the people who are still missing from Hurricane Ike have not merited their attention.

Currently, there are at least 400 people still missing, according to local Houston media. This is an approximate number, as there are so many different places that families are looking, registering and posting their names…that it’s difficult to get an accurate count. From what Snarkfood has been able to determine, 400 is probably a conservative number.

The residents of Galveston were allowed to come back to the island last week; the residents whose homes were behind the seawall were allowed to stay, those whose homes (or what was left of their homes) were on the hardest-hit West end of the island, must go away every night, and return during the day. Many, many people have had to throw EVERYTHING away from their homes. Every single solitary thing.
Here’s a video from a resident who returned to Galveston last week:

Even though this story has been squashed by “Hurricane Wall Street”, it is very much alive for the many, many thousands of people Ike has hurt. The Red Cross is a great place to help, either by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or by visiting their website www.redcross.org.
Snarkfood has a post here that has advice on what to do for victims, including how to deal with FEMA, and, how to help for those of us blessed enough to be able to. These are our American brothers and sisters. Many people were unable to evacuate, another part of the story that is not being told. Before you pass judgment on them, take the time to read some of our coverage:
“Coast Guard Flyover Of Galveston Island”
“Conditions Deteriorate For Ike Survivors: Celebs Could Help”

“Hurricane Ike: If You Are Missing, Please Raise Your Hand”
“Hurricane Ike: The Missing Have Names; Ike Missing From The Mainstream Media”
It may open your eyes.

Conditions Deteriorate For Hurricane Ike Survivors- Celebs Could Help


9/18/08: The Missing- From The Austin American-Statesman: Some of Ike’s Victims May Have Just Washed Away; Systems To List Missing Are Chaotic

9/16/08: Very important update: A reporter and his wife who formerly lived in Tyler were on Galveston Island during Ike. The media blackout is trying to be enforced by the mayor and other city officials, but rescue workers are telling people that the death count is far more than is being reported. They are going door to door, but are leaving bodies inside of structures for now, so they can focus on rescuing those who survived. Unlike Katrina, they aren’t spray-painting “X” on the houses where the dead are. Instead they are putting discreet stickers on the structures, making them harder to see by the already handcuffed media.
Click here to read the story in the Tyler Paper.

9/16/08: Bolivar No Longer A Peninsula But Is 3 Islands. Martial Law to be implemented next week.

Frank Billingsley Narrates Aerial Coverage Of Galveston’s West End

It’s time for celebrities to step up with other Americans and help the victims of Hurricane Ike, like they did for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The people need help, and charities desperately need funds. We’ve not heard of any benefits being organized. Hopefully that will change, and change quickly. Celebs have proven their abilities to quickly assist in raising funds for good causes- most recently the very successful “Stand Up For Cancer” that so many generously helped with.

Residents Now Refugees

Rescuers flew to areas of the coast previously unreachable because of destruction wrought by Hurricane Ike. 37,000+ people are now in shelters across Texas, and conditions are going from bad to worse for those housed in Houston, especially at the George R. Brown Convention center. Cots are in short supply. Food and ice are in short supply. Because so much of Houston is without power, it’s become extremely challenging to care for the people who now are basically refugees. And there will be more refugees.

Link to Snarkfood’s post with video, pictures, links and updates on the Ike aftermath

Galveston officials are attempting to evacuate the survivors who are still on the island. An estimated 20,000 people stayed in Galveston through the storm. It is not known how many perished. Some feel that authorities are keeping information on victims close to the vest. In some forums, people speaking off the record say that many bodies have been found in the afflicted areas. Of course, this is impossible to verify at this time. Officials are greatly restricting the media, with fairly good success. Galveston’s city manager says officials are “limiting the information released to the media”. The press has been asked to move to the Hilton so they are NOT with officials.

In Galveston, they are cutting off the gas, because of the risk of fire. There is no power, no running water, very little food. The Mayor of Galveston said to residents: “You cannot live in Galveston at this time.” Galveston is apparently bringing in a cruise ship to help house those who have lost it all, and have nowhere to go. Galveston is a small part of the total area of destruction. Much of the coast has been flattened, and rescuers are just now reaching parts of it. The area of devastation is as wide as Ike was, and Ike is looking more and more like Katrina.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did great work in New Orleans, and continue humanitarian help around the world, but let’s face it. They have their hands full. Now would be a great time for other celebrities to step up and flex some muscle. There’s no need to wait for a huge body count.

Galveston’s West End Devastated- CNN IReport

Live 24/7 Coverage From 4 Houston TV Stations

1-800-RED-CROSS, or www.redcross.org


Coast Guard Fly-Over Of Galveston Island Texas

The image above was taken Sunday, and shows a lone house in Gilchrist, Texas, on the Bolivar Peninsula. The Peninsula was on the “dirty side” of hurricane Ike. This area of coastal Texas has been devastated because of Hurricane Ike. Flyover Video Of Gilchrist and Bolivar

The title of this article doesn’t describe it well anymore. I know this is now a long and messy post. I apologize for that, but this is a messy story. This post began with an aerial video of Galveston after Hurricane Ike that people were desperately wanting. Since then, the article has taken on a life of it’s own. I hope it will continue to be a helpful one. It has been linked all over the world, so I am not going to change it’s URL; I will just continue to add to it. There are so many updates, videos, images and links here, and this is the post where I will continue to follow the tragic story of Hurricane Ike, the frustration of the media, the search for the missing, and those directly impacted by the current lack of official information, FEMA and officials. This is not a regional story. It is an American story.


10/19/08: Texas And Louisiana Forced To Re-bury Dead After Ike- Caskets Floated Miles And Miles Away

10/18/08: Property Owners Will Still Owe Taxes…Even If There’s Nothing Left

10/18/08: The Search Continues For Ike’s Missing: Alligators, Swamps & Millions Of Cubic Ft. Of Debris

10/17/08: FEMA Still Disastrous At Distributing Mobile Homes; Thousands Of Ike Victims Still Waiting

10/11/08: Rebuild Bolivar’s Extensive Photo Gallery Of The Bolivar Peninsula

10/11/08: Rebuild Bolivar…First Coordinated Volunteer Cleanup Event For Bolivar On Sat. Oct 18th. Go to rebuildbolivar.com for details.

10/11/08: Bolivar Residents MAY have power, water and sewer in November

10/11/08: Insurance Companies Do More Damage Than Ike- Those Forced By The City To Demolish Will Not Get Reimbursed Fully, Only For Storm Damage.

10/11/08: Bermuda Beach Drive In Galveston- Completely Gone. Now The Fight Starts For Who Will Pay To Replace It.

10/11/08: Over 4000 dead are registered to vote in Houston…system is PAINFULLY primitive and ripe for abuse.

10/5/08: First Organized Body Search ON Bolivar Peninsula: 7 Men, 1 Dog, 80 square Miles To Cover

10/5/08: The stories of some who died…and who are still missing.

10/5/08: San Leon Gets Some Much-Needed Help

10/5/08: Galveston City-Owned Convention Centers And Hotel Are Too Good For Shelter Use

10/05/08: Link To The “Hurricane Ike Missing” List At The Laura Recovery Center, One Of Many Lists

UPDATE 10/3/08: Listen to Lan Lamphere, photojournalist from Oklahomaexpeditions.com , and Snarkfood discuss the missing from Hurricane Ike. The Podcast Is Here.

10/2/08: 3 Weeks After Hurricane Ike, The Search For Bodies Finally Begins

10/2/08: UTMB Galveston Photo Slideshow

10/01/08:On Galveston Island: “Dear Resident, Move Out.”

10/01/08: A look at the Crystal Beach Area With MadNonnie.com

9/29/08: A Resident Returns To Galveston, Documents What Is Left

9/28/08: After nearly 2 weeks, almost 400 people are still missing from Hurricane Ike, AND from the mainstream media. Snarkfood thinks this number is conservative. Video.

9/28/08: Ground and aerial pictures of Canal City Texas, practically obliterated

9/28/08: Two Bolivar Men Survive Unbelievable Ride On Ike’s Storm Surge, And Live To Tell About It

9/25/08: Video- Galvestonians Return To Disaster: Many That Thought “Not My House”, Finding Out Otherwise. Everywhere You Look is “Memory Mountain”, People Having To Throw Out Everything. Many Considering Just Walking Away.
9/25/08: Video: Many Denied FEMA aid. 589,000 applications, only 11,400 approved. 154,000 denied.

9/24/08: Look And Leave Begins Friday For Bolivar Residents…Registration Forms Will Be Posted On GuidryNews.com Prior, And Will Be Available On The Peninsula. Tetanus Shots Recommended Prior,But Will Be Available At High Island School

9/24/08: The NEW Boliver Re-entry Plan

9/24/08: Galveston Residents Return To Ruin: No Need For Boxes

9/24/08: Video: Galveston Residents Return Home For The First Time

9/24/08: Galveston Residents Come Home…How To Be Prepared For “Primitive” Conditions: Video

9/23/08: Snarkfood lists (some of) the missing, screw the mainstream media.

9/23/08: FEMA To Pay For 6 Months Of Temporary Housing For Ike Victims, Help With Up To 18 Months

9/23/08: Jeff From MadNonnie.com Updates The Situation On The Bolivar Peninsula

9/23/08: Lighthouse Charity Team On Site, Ready To Help. Want To Make Sure Your Donations Stay Local? Consider Lighthouse. LighthouseCharityTeam.Com

9/23/08: Joeygulfshores- Why They Stay; WE Are Our Brothers’ Keeper, Not The Government

9/23/08: Live Stream Video: Officials Appeal To Congress For Ike Relief Funds

And They Are Getting Grilled. Snarkista’s listening. Too bad they are in line behind our collapsed financial system. If this live stream becomes available in it’s entirety, you’ll see it here.Highlights here. Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas praises FEMA when it’s her turn in front of Congress.

9/22/08: This Morning County Judge Jim Yarbrough Answers Questions From Residents-Audio

9/22/08: Additional resource to find loved ones…call 1-866-GET INFO

For FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Locations
check https://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/drcLocator.jsp.

9/22/08: POD (Point Of Distribution) Locations:

9/22/08: Angry Bolivar Peninsula Residents Gather In Winnie: Video

9/22/08: New On-Ground Crystal Beach Footage Part 1

New On-Ground Crystal Beach Video 2

New On-Ground Crystal Beach Video 3

9/22/08: Tour Of Damage From 61st Street To The West End: New Videos From The West End Anglers At FishWestEnd.com

9/21/08: Crystal Beach, Bolivar Residents Take A Boat In, Want To Know Where The List Of Missing Is, And How Long It Is

9/21/08: New Extensive Sea Isle Photo Gallery

9/21/08: Large Jamaica Beach Photo Gallery

9/20/08: Mail Service: Residents from Gilchrist, Port Bolivar/Crystal Beach, High Island, Sabine Pass and Wallisville are being served through alternate delivery at the Winnie, TX, Post Office (77655). The Winnie Post Office is located at 324 Highway 124 Winnie, TX 77665

9/20/08: Click Here For How To File For Unemployment/Disaster Unemployment Assistance

9/20/08: Video: Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas Announces That Residents May Return On Wednesday…But West-Enders Have To Look-N-Leave

Beginning Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 6:00 a.m. all residents will be able to re-enter Galveston Island. You must show photo identification that verifies your Galveston address or place of business at all manned checkpoints. The City of Galveston will distribute advisories as returning residents and business owners enter the island.

Areas Located Behind the Seawall East of 103rd Street/Cove View Lane: All residents and business owners may re-enter the City of Galveston, assess the damage to their property, and determine if they wish to remain in the city. Very limited water, sewer, natural gas, and electric services have been restored to areas behind the Seawall. Areas Not Located Behind the Seawall West of 103rd Street/Cove View Lane: All west end residents/businesses may re-enter the City of Galveston, assess the damage to their property, gather important belongings, and then leave the city to return to safe and more secure locations no later than 6:00 p.m. Water, sewer, natural gas, and electric services have not been restored to areas West of Seawall therefore sanitary living conditions are not available at this time.

9/20/08: 40% Of Building Permits Issued In The Past Few Years Along The Coast Were For Bolivar Development, Far More Than Any Other Area

9/20/08: Residents of the harder-hit Bolivar Peninsula will start seeing their homes next week, albeit for only a quick peek. And because the main road is impassible in many spots, residents will be loaded into dump trucks and other heavy vehicles for their tour. In Beaumont, near the Louisiana line, authorities lifted a mandatory evacuation order Saturday that had been in effect since Sept. 11, clearing residents to return to the city of 110,000 for the first time in more than a week.

9/20/08: Sign The “Bring Back Bolivar” Petition

9/20/08: Mandatory Evacuation Orders Rescinded Beginning Today For Beaumont, Port Arthur and Jefferson County.

Within minutes of each other on Friday afternoon, Port Arthur Mayor Deloris Prince, Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames and Jefferson County Judge Ron Walker each announced that the Mandatory Evacuation orders in effect for their respective jurisdictions would be lifted, effective at 6 a.m. on Saturday, 9-20-08. The curfews remain in effect, but Jefferson County shortened the hours of their curfew to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Port Arthur slightly modified their curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., while the Beaumont curfew remained at 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and all three jurisdictions emphasized their curfews would be strictly enforced. Surrounded by city officials, Mayor Ames said that with at least half of Beaumont without power, it is “too dark” to maintain public safety without the curfew. More info here at The Examiner.

9/20/08: San Leon, Creamed By Ike, Gets Screwed By FEMA.

“Not only has FEMA not responded to San Leon, they have given out locations where supplies are available that are fictitious. Of four “POD” distribution locations FEMA gave out over KTRH radio (9-17), one of them does not exist. Two other locations had no FEMA supplies and had no clue that they had been designated. The 4th was there but had no supplies to give out. The FEMA “POD” in Seabrook refused to let people from San Leon in. Our residents are being turned away there. It is tragic enough that our lives have been destroyed by a horrific storm. It further injures us that communities like Tomball are getting assistance and we are not. It is even worse when FEMA’s publicity people give out phony information to inflate their numbers and waste what little fuel we have sending us to places that are not distributing assistance. I realize that to many government officials, this is a “political event”. To us it is a matter of survival. If you don’t help us, we will do it ourselves. But please don’t lie to us, and don’t make things worse..”

9/20/08: In Scrappy San Leon: The “Outlaws Of Galveston County” Want Y’all To Get Your Butts Home!


9/20/08: GuidryNews.com has been contracted to be the official online newspoint for Galveston & Coastal Texas official announcements, re-entry news, aftermath progress, utility updates etc. Guidrynews.com

9/20/08: If You Go To Galveston, Get Your Shots And Bring A High-Rated Mask

9/19/08: Missing And Presumed Dead
9/19/08: The Bolivar Tsunami

9/19/08: If This Doesn’t Tear Your Heart Out…Get A Checkup. This Is What Gone Looks Like.

9/19/08: Galveston Officials Lay Out Plan For Residents’ Return

Chambers County, Smith Point, Oak Island Update…Including Story Of 3 Washed-Up Survivors!

9/19/08: Virginia Point, On Galveston Bay, Is Completely Gone.Video. Virginia Point, across from Tiki Island, has been wiped off the map. This area has not had much media coverage. This is a new video today.

9/19/08: FEMA Will Pay For Hotels Between September 15-October 15. Details Here.

9/19/08: More Bad News For Ike Victims: Obscure Texas Law Could Let The State Seize Your Beach House


9/17/08 The Press Pushes For Info- Video especially re deaths and access to Bolivar and West End. Officials pass the buck. Gets pretty heated.

9/18/08: NOAA posts more satellite images of Galveston and coastal Texas where Ike destroyed so much. High res pictures, be patient for them to load. Navigate in on the Texas map, then you can click to zoom in further.

9/18/08: New Video Of Sea Isle, Jamaica Beach After Ike

9/18/08: The Missing- From The Austin American-Statesman: Some Of Ike’s Victims May Have Just Washed Away; Systems to list the missing are chaotic

9/18/08: Galveston’s Mayor Lyda Thomas- Part Time Job, Full-Time Dictator

9/18/08: Looking For Loved Ones, Getting Nowhere. Look And Leave Not Allowed For Those Looking For Missing Family. Video.
Family members are having to resort to posting names on news forums and creating Facebook groups to try to get information on what/where they are. Galveston JUST created (9/17/08) a hotline for the unincorporated areas to list the missing. The phones have two actual people manning the lines! WTF! The number is 1-866-898-5723. Unincorporated areas of Galveston County include Bolivar Peninsula, Bacliff/San Leon, Freddieville and Algoa. Those calling should have their contact information available, as well as information about the person they are searching for, including: Description of the individual, Address, Last time they were in contact with the individual, Plans the individual had for the storm.

9/18/08: News Blackout On Bolivar & Missing: Wayne Dolcefino Pushes Governor Perry For Answers…Perry Passes The Buck

9/18/08: Frank Billingsley on Click2Houston.com: New Video Aerial Tour of Galveston’s West End, West Beach. Longer clip to be posted soon. (See Link Below)

9/18/08: Longer Video Aerial Tour Of Galveston’s West End, West Beach.

9/18/08 New aerial photos from Galveston To Crystal Beach taken yesterday

GalvestonIsland.TV has been started by residents to document damage and recovery. Links to many photo galleries of neighborhoods, personal look and leave stories here.

9/17/08: Jake Abbey Has Finished His Remarkable Compilation…Labor Of Love… Photos Documenting Ike And The Texas Coast. Must See.

9/17/08: Firsthand account of hundreds of bodies seen in trees in Galveston. This from an oilfield executive who was allowed to check on the rigs, and therefore had to fly over Galveston. Many were seen is marshes, ditches. People who have access to the island are now being patted town by officials to ensure no camera footage would be shot and get into the media.

9/17/08: Video- Media Blackout Doesn’t Sit Well: Coverup?

9/16/08: Very Important Update: A reporter and his wife who formerly lived in Tyler were on Galveston Island during Ike. The media blackout is trying to be enforced by the mayor and other city officials, but rescue workers are telling people that the death count is far more than is being reported. They are going door to door, but are leaving bodies inside of structures for now, so they can focus on rescuing those who survived. Unlike Katrina, they aren’t spray-painting “X” on the houses where the dead are. Instead they are putting discreet stickers on the structures, making them harder to see by the already handcuffed media. Click here for the Tyler Paper story and interview.

9/16/08: Bolivar No Longer A Peninsula, But Is 3 Islands. Martial Law To Be Instituted Next Week

9/16/08: President Bush Clams Up After Tour Of Area- Refuses Comment To Media

9/16/08: NY Times On The Toxic Sludge Left By Ike

9/15/08: The LA Times Asks About The Elephant In The Room: Where are all the people? If you do the math, about 20,000 people believed to be in Galveston just aren’t there. Is this why the press is being restricted and the no-fly order is in place? CNN says today: “Rescue crews on the Texas coast continued to look for the estimated 20,000 residents who dismissed evacuation orders and tried to ride out the Category 2 hurricane’s massive storm surge and 110-mph winds.” Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough orders the evacuation of survivors on Bolivar Peninsula. Says he’s heard there are bodies floating on the peninsula. “There are going to be some, but no one has given me a list of deaths,” Yarbrough said.

UPDATE 9/15/08: NEW NOAA Satellite Imagery Up: These are High-Res images, you will see a map of the state of Texas first, click on the area you want to see, and go from there. West end of Galveston available. Be patient, as these are high-res images that you can navigate. http://ngs.woc.noaa.gov/ike/IKE0000.HTM

NEW: Fly- Over of Galveston Including West End

9/15/08 CNN takes a boat to part of the west end of Galveston


Continue reading Coast Guard Fly-Over Of Galveston Island Texas