Newspaper Photo Book Captures Hurricane Ike Losses, Heroism

Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 5:17 PM CDT
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Newspaper Photo Book Captures Hurricane Ike Losses, Heroism

GALVESTON, Texas, November 11, 2008 (ENS) - The Galveston newspaper that did not miss an edition although Hurricane Ike blew its roof away, is compiling a coffee-table book telling the story of the storm and its effects.

The "Galveston County Daily News," will publish the book as a full-color photographic essay of the storm's story from beginning to end, including the first stages of the area's recovery process.

Editor Heber Taylor said the book, to be titled "Ike: Stories of the Storm," will include an account of the storm, including its formation and path, the destruction it caused and the evacuation and recovery of the people it affected.

"We want it to record the history of the hurricane for the people of the whole county and for everyone else interested in this area," Taylor said.

The newspaper published right through the hurricane, which made landfall on Galveston Island on September 13 at 2:10 am local time as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 miles per hour.

Daily News president and publisher Dolph Tillotson said, "It's fairly rare when newspaper journalists get a chance to do more than write history on the fly. But Ike is such an historic event for the county that we felt we needed to tell its story comprehensively. And we want to tell the story in a format that people can keep and pass down to future generations."

"Throughout the storm, our staff has shot literally hundreds of pictures telling a remarkable story of disaster and courage, of loss and recovery," said Tillotson.

"I have on the desk in my office a book published in Galveston shortly after the 1900 storm," he said. "We believe the book we're planning should last just as long and mean just as much to the people of our county."

"I believe that the story of Ike, like the tragedy in 1900, will ultimately be a story of triumph, not defeat," said Tillotson.

The book will be published this month and will be available before the holiday season. Books can be ordered on galvnews.com.

Hurricane Ike was the third most destructive hurricane ever to hit the United States.

Eighty-two people were killed, and 202 are still missing. Damages from Ike in U.S. coastal areas are estimated at $27 billion, making it the third costliest U.S. hurricane of all time, behind Hurricane Andrew of 1992 and Hurricane Katrina of 2005.

Ike evacuees are still being displaced.

The newspaper today reports that hundreds of Galveston County residents checking out of hotel and motel rooms because the Federal Emergency Management Agency did not extend their hotel vouchers.

With rental property still in short supply and many displaced residents left with nowhere else to go, local social service agencies say many of those people are sleeping on the street tonight.

Most of the island's social service organizations suffered severe damage during the storm, the newspaper reports. Few organizations have the resources or the facilities to offer daily needs' assistance or overnight shelter.

FEMA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development signed an Interagency Agreement on September 23, 2008, under which HUD will provide temporary long-term housing rental assistance and case management for households affected by Hurricane Ike.

FEMA has given the names of more than 29,000 eligible families to HUD which will provide temporary housing assistance to them until March 2010. But many people are not eligible for this assistance.

{Image: Radar image of Hurricane Ike at landfall courtesy National Weather Service, Houston/Galveston}

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.

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