Ike causes minimal damage locally
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – Coastal residents began a post-hurricane cleanup for the second time in two weeks as Hurricane Ike’s high winds and storm surge
once again left many Louisiana residents without power and major flooding.Many towns such as Delcambre and Plaquemines were literally under two feet of water before it began to recede Saturday afternoon. Some Lake Charles residents claimed that the water was higher than it was for Hurricane Rita which struck in 2005.
“Rita was a storm of flooding and destruction,” said Lake Charles mayor Randy Roach. “Ike was a storm of flooding and not that much destruction.”
In Crowley, once again the city made it through the storm without much major damage with only a few parts of the city losing power, mostly for just a few hours.
“Aside from a few trees coming down and a couple of near misses by tornados, luckily, we came out pretty well once again,” said Crowley Mayor Greg Jones. “My heart goes out to the people in the Lake Charles, Westlake, and Galveston areas who weren’t so fortunate.”
Several western parts of the state were hit hard with Ike’s high winds and torrential rains. Cameron Parish fell victim to Ike’s storm surge which left the area still mostly isolated on Monday with most of the roadways still flooded. It was uncertain when residents of South Cameron would be able to return.
“We can’t even estimate when that would be,” said Clifton Hebert, emergency preparedness director of Cameron Parish. “All we can do is ask that our residents be patient and wait until it’s safe.
As of Monday, there were four reported storm related deaths in Louisiana, two in Terrebonne Parish, where a levee broke and flooded nearly 13,000 buildings, and two in Jeff Davis Parish. Authorities are quick to point out that rescue operations are still ongoing and the count could possibly climb.
In Texas, especially the Galveston/Houston area, the damage was indescribable. Galveston Island was literally destroyed with very few structures left standing. Houston was also hit hard with several of the skyscrapers that comprise the city’s skyline suffering from water damage and broken glass -- much of which littered the streets in Houston’s downtown area. Reliant Stadium had several outside parts of the building ripped away.
As of Monday, it was estimated by Houston authorities that only one in four homes had power in the nation’s sixth largest city. Houston has 6.4 million residents in their metropolitan area which includes Galveston and Baytown.