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National Briefing / TEXAS

Galveston tells evacuees it's not ready

September 19, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Hurricane-ravaged Galveston just "isn't ready" for residents to return, officials warned as they pleaded for evacuees to stay away at least another week.

The roughly 45,000 people who fled Galveston Island are among more than 1 million who evacuated the coast as Ike approached. Gov. Rick Perry said 22,000 people are still living in shelters. He joined Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas in asking for patience.

Galveston Island remained closed, as did the worse-off Bolivar Peninsula, where the storm's surge washed entire neighborhoods into the sea.

In Houston, life tentatively began to return to normal.

The Port of Houston reopened all but two of its terminals, and the entire port was to resume normal operations today.

About 1.5 million Texans remained without power.

The Interior Department said Ike destroyed at least 49 of the more than 3,800 offshore oil or natural gas production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ike's death toll in the U.S. stood at 56, with 22 in Texas.

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