Showing posts with label Hurricane Ike. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hurricane Ike. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Neil Diamond donates 100 percent of merchandise sales to Ike relief fund

One of my close friends and her family were able to make it to Neil Diamond's concert in Orlando. (Yes, I'm jealous!) She told me about his new CD Home Before Dark, raved about it and his concert. Then she told me about what he's doing with the money made off merchandise at his concerts. Amazing! This makes me even more fond of him and his music.


10/14/08 - (Houston) 100% gross sales of Neil Diamond's merchandise available at his Toyota Center show will be donated to the Gulf Coast Ike relief fund!! Please support this cause- Thank you Neil Diamond, FEA Merchandising and Toyota Center.

Houston, TX - October 15, 2008 - Legendary singer-songwriter Neil Diamond pledged to donate 100% of merchandise sales from his October 14th concert at Houston's Toyota Center to benefit The Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund. He then topped his offer by telling his Houston audience that he would match the amount they spent on merchandise that night. The contribution totaled more than $200,000, and Houston's Mayor Bill White and The Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund Board Member Dr. Laura Murillo joined Diamond at last night's concert to accept an honorary check. Along with Diamond's personal contribution, F.E.A. Merchandising and Toyota Center have also contributed their share of merchandise sales to relief efforts for areas of the Gulf Coast that have been ravaged by Hurricane Ike.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Red Cross Disaster Relief Down $100 Million

Red Cross Disaster Relief Down $100 Million
Local chapter committed to $100,000 for national relief fund

By Chuck Hagee, Gazette Packet
Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wall Street and Main Street aren't the only financial victims of the economic downturn. Add to the list the Disaster Relief Fund of the American Red Cross. It is in the hole $100 million due to one of the most active disaster years in its history.

Although the fund is actually $200 million in the hole, Congress supplied $100 million. It is now up to the American Red Cross, through its local chapters, to raise the additional $100 million, according to Lissette S. Bishins, executive director, Alexandria Chapter, American Red Cross.

"I expect this to be another rough fund raising year due to the national economic situation. We are committed to raising $100,000 for the national Disaster Relief Fund," she said during a media briefing October 16 at the local headquarters office.

"We also didn't do very well this year at our largest fund raising event, the annual Waterfront Festival. We only netted $15,000 due to the bad weather and lack of attendance," Bishins said.

Bishins took over the reins of the local chapter last November after a series of personnel turnovers. Upon her arrival she found the chapter $200,000 in debt, but was able to reduce that to $30,000 by the beginning of the new fiscal year, July 1, 2008. The local annual budget is $900,000, according to Bishins.

"We have more engaged volunteers today than we have had in a long time and we are much more involved in the community. That will increase in the year ahead," Bishins said.

Some of the events planned are a volunteer celebration October 29 at the local headquarters, a "Restaurant Night" brunch fund raiser at Tempo Restaurant November 2, a Breakfast of Champions November 18, accelerated blood drives to strengthen their ability to provide 50 percent of the city's blood supply, and a new military hospital outreach program in which the local chapter will be collecting new items for the Fort Belvoir Wounded Warrior Military Transition Unit.

Presently, the local chapter has a roster of 500 active volunteers. Seventeen of those were deployed to the Gulf Coast region during 2008 for hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike, according to Bishins. Several are still there providing relief services.

In addition, the local chapter has provided upwards of 10 volunteers to staff the Red Cross Disaster Relief Call Center located in Ashburn. It receives calls from evacuees and residents in a disaster zone and directs assistance to them.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Reburying the dead a grim task in Ike's wake

Reburying the dead a grim task in Ike's wake
The hurricane's storm surge washed hundreds of caskets out of their graves
IN THE MARSH OF CAMERON PARISH, La. - Joe Johnson craned his neck from the airboat as it circled a patch of brown marsh grass. The runaway coffin was not where it was supposed to be.

Johnson pulled up to a pile of rocks, killed the motor and hopped out. After a few minutes of scouring along the tall, reedlike grass, he flagged down two fishermen.

"Can you possibly take me along the shoreline?" Johnson asked. "I'm looking for a casket."

"Our mother came out for Rita, and now she came out for Ike," said Debra Dyson, a commercial fisher whose house in Cameron was destroyed by Ike.

Dyson said coffins holding her brother-in-law and cousin also were heaved out by Rita. Ike was worse — the storm thrust out caskets containing her mother, brother-in-law, cousin, niece, three uncles and two aunts.
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hurricane Ike problems go on long after storm gone

Storm over, but hunger, fear remain
Advocates push for food donations, day care support
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Oct. 17, 2008, 11:14PM
Hurricane Ike was an ill wind for tens of thousands of Houston-area children, who, more than a month after the storm blasted the Texas coast, are still hungry, fearful and sometimes abused, a coalition of social service providers warned Thursday.

"Things are getting back to normal," said Bob Sanborn, president of Children of Risk. "The lights are back on and schools are open. ... But there are still problems, still needs. ... Children are still in poverty. They still have hardships."

The children's advocates gathered to call for support of the Houston Food Bank, which distributed 12 million pounds of food in the hurricane's wake, and area day care centers, many of which were damaged and have not reopened.
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Ike relief fund returns day care to Galveston
Many Ike victims still waiting for help from FEMA

Friday, October 3, 2008

Woman praises Florida man killed trying to save dogs

Woman praises Florida man killed trying to save dogs
By DANE SCHILLER Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Oct. 3, 2008, 4:05PM

The Houston owners of the three dogs that a Hurricane Ike relief worker from Florida died trying to save said today they feel horrible and are grateful to Robert "Bob" Emery.

Emery was killed the night of Sept. 27 as he tried to reach the three dogs, huddled on the East Freeway median, after one of them had apparently had its paw mangled by a passing car.

Emery, a 54-year-old loner and jack of all trades, was hit by a motorcycle before he could reach the dogs, which were later rescued by animal-control officers.

Speaking out for the first time, the dogs' owners said Friday that they were thankful that Emery tried to help.

"You just don't meet people with hearts like that," said the dogs' owner, whose name is Jackie. She spoke with the Houston Chronicle on the condition her last name not be published in order to protect her privacy.

Emery's death has rallied animal lovers, who have vowed that Emery won't be forgotten and won't be buried as a pauper, even if his family is never located.

He had been living alone in a trailer in Big Pine Key, an island off the southern edge of Florida, but was recently evicted for failing to pay rent.

He came to Texas as part of a crew of about a dozen men from Florida who had been through hurricanes in their own lives and wanted to help Texas out as well as make some money.
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Thursday, October 2, 2008

After Hurricane Ike, gators, dead cows keep families from hunting kin

Gators, dead cows, keep families from hunting kin
Alligators loom over submerged cars. Mountains of debris are embedded in the ground. Cows, trucks and the remnants of homes are sunk into the ocean. And unverified sightings of missing loved ones are making the rounds. More than 300 people are missing since Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast last month, and the obstacles to finding them are frustrating family and friends who desperately want to know if their loved ones are dead or alive. full story

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Post-Hurricane Efforts Raise Profile Of Mental Disorders

Post-Hurricane Efforts Raise Profile Of Mental Disorders
It is the storm damage that people often don't talk about--mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder that strike in the wake of a catastrophic experience.

Post-trauma mental conditions are one of many mental disorders that affect some 57.7 million Americans in any given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which is observing Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 5-11, 2008. Organizations, including Allsup, which represents people nationwide for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, are helping to raise awareness about mental illnesses and the help available to people and their families.

Anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder and phobias, affect about 40 million people, NAMI reports. One in five veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan (almost 300,000 troops) will experience major depression or PTSD when they return home. Other types of mental disorders also affect millions of people, including 5.7 million with bipolar disorder and 2.4 million who have schizophrenia.

"People living with mental illnesses often are among the most vulnerable in our society. Unfortunately, they also are often overlooked during disasters," said NAMI executive director Michael J. Fitzpatrick, who recently announced the creation of a NAMI Hurricane Relief Fund to help individuals and families affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Return to Bolivar Peninsula is slow-going for residents after Hurricane Ike

Return to Bolivar Peninsula is slow-going for residents
By JUAN A. LOZANO Associated Press
Sept. 26, 2008, 11:45AM

HIGH ISLAND — Residents of the Bolivar Peninsula crowded onto the only roadway back home today, the first day they were allowed to return and check out the massive wreckage left behind after Hurricane Ike roared through this thin strip of land along the Gulf of Mexico.

The peninsula's 4,000 or so residents are being allowed back on a "look and leave" policy, lining up to return despite warnings they could find snakes and alligators in the debris. The peninsula just northeast of Galveston was among the hardest-hit areas when Ike blasted ashore Sept. 13, with 110 mph winds and a storm surge that swept away homes and businesses.

In the small town of Gilchrist, what was once a field across the street from some vacation beach houses now looked more like a dump where the remains of the homes were scattered. Homeowners slowly wandered through the field, looking through chunks of wood, plates, VCRs, blinds and broken toilets.

Beth Varing, whose vacation home of 20 years was gone except for some wooden pilings, was making a small pile beside the road of items she recovered: a few unbroken dishes, some utensils, a fishing pole and some tile pieces.

"It's unbelievable. All I can do is cry," she said. "These beach houses have been here forever. I can't wrap my thoughts around this. I can't see how it picked up these beach houses and now there is nothing left."
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Residents stream into Ike-battered Galveston

Residents stream into Ike-battered Galveston
45,000 islanders fled storm's wrath; hotels, shelters open up to residents

updated 7:14 p.m. ET, Wed., Sept. 24, 2008
GALVESTON, Texas - Ten days after Hurricane Ike, this devastated beach town reopened to residents Wednesday with stern warnings about what still lurks on the island — rotting cattle carcasses, snakes and swarms of mosquitoes — and what isn't there: drinking water, reliable electricity, medical care or sewer service.

After spending hours in traffic that backed up for 10 miles, some residents found their homes in ruins.

"I wasn't prepared for this," taxi driver Patricia Davis said as she waved away mosquitoes and surveyed the remains of her apartment, which had its entrance blocked by collapsed walls, wrecked furniture and sodden clothing.
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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Texans look to heavens as they heal from Ike

Texans look to heavens as they heal from Ike
Wearing jeans and rubber boots, clutching Bibles and weeping between hymns, residents of the storm-shattered Texas coast comforted one another today at makeshift church services that provided more than a respite from Hurricane Ike cleanup. full story

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Houston Astros, Carlos Lee, helps out after Hurricane Ike

Lee goes from slugger to rancher to helping hand
Astros outfielder pitches in for Hurricane Ike relief effort in two counties
By JOSE DE JESUS ORTIZ Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Sept. 18, 2008, 7:34PM
As the ranching industry in Jefferson and Chambers counties deals with the devastation left by Hurricane Ike, Astros left fielder Carlos Lee has stepped up to donate hay and lend his name to shine a light on the struggles being faced by fellow cattlemen.

In Jefferson and Chambers counties, there are at least 20,000 cattle in need of hay, feed and water; they also need to be moved, so the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is working with the Texas Department of Agriculture on farm relief.

Lee, who has ranches in Boling and his native Panama, is donating hay and planning fundraisers for the affected cattlemen in Chambers and Jefferson counties.

"Right now hay's probably the main thing they need," said TSCRA president Dave Scott of Richmond. "Most of these cattle will have to leave this area. This area is devastated. The salt water has ruined over 85 percent of the range area, so it's ruined for at least a year."

Lee, currently on the disabled list with the Astros, learned of the relief effort while visiting his friends at the J.D. Hudgins Ranch in Hungerford on Thursday. He volunteered to donate hay when asked by Coleman Locke, the president of the ranch and a member of the cattle association's Board of Directors.
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FEMA Says No to Ice For Hurricane Survivors

FEMA Says No to Ice For Hurricane Survivors
Under New Policy, FEMA Says Ice is Not Its Responsibility
September 18, 2008

Hurricane survivors are being put at risk in Texas and other hot weather states because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is no longer providing ice in relief situations, say watchdogs, relief workers and local leaders in Hurricane Alley

"It's frustrating that the government can deliver $85 billion to bail out AIG, and they can't deliver ice in Texas," said Ben Smilowitz, executive director of the Disaster Accountability Project (DAP), a nonpartisan organization that monitors the nation's disaster response system.

In fact, while the federal government can deliver ice to disaster areas, it's chosen not to, under newly-revised FEMA rules. Instead, individual states and local governments are now tasked with purchasing, delivering and storing ice, even though they face tough logistical challenges in doing so, according to critics of the new policy.

"FEMA is effectively saying we can't guarantee you ice," said Mike Womack, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
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Linked from RawStory

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ike's Missing May Have Just Washed Away

Ike's Missing May Have Just Washed Away

GALVESTON, Texas (Sept. 18) - The death toll from Hurricane Ike is remarkably low so far, considering that legions of people stayed behind as the storm obliterated row after row of homes along the Texas coast. But officials suspect there are more victims out there and say some might simply have been swept out to sea.

Exactly how many is anybody's guess, because authorities had no sure way to track those who defied evacuation orders. And the number of people reported missing after the storm, whose death toll stands at 17 in Texas, is fluctuating.

Search-and-rescue crews cleared out Wednesday after plucking survivors from Galveston and the devastated Bolivar Peninsula, and authorities are relying on Red Cross workers and beach patrols to run welfare checks on people named by anxious relatives.

"We don't know what's out there in the wilds," said Galveston County medical examiner Stephen Pustilniks. "Searchers weren't looking for bodies; they were looking for survivors."

As the hurricane closed in, authorities in three counties alone estimated 90,000 people ignored evacuation orders. Post-storm rescuers in Galveston and the peninsula removed about 3,500 people, but another 6,000 refused to leave.

Nobody is suggesting that tens of thousands died, but determining what happened to those unaccounted for is a painstaking task that could leave survivors wondering for months or years to come.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Galveston County Jail, no generators from FEMA causes major problems

Galveston officials: Feds blocking generators at jail
By TERRI LANGFORD Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Sept. 16, 2008, 11:59AM

GALVESTON — Frustration was brewing at the Galveston County jail this morning, but not from the inmates.

Dudley Anderson — the architect of the Galveston County Justice Center, which includes the jail, courts and law enforcement offices — said the Federal Emergency Managment Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are letting rule books get in the way of supplying generators and, thus, air flow to the estimated 1,000 inmates in the jail.

"We've been trying to get some power hooked up inside the justice center," Anderson said. "There's a small one in there now, but they need power."

While President Bush was inside the facility talking with officials this morning, Anderson and other contractors were outside complaining that the government is getting in the way.

Anderson said the only generator in the jail this morning was supplying a small operator area. He had another generator ready to help a bit with air flow, but the large generators expected from the federal government are what he's frustrated about.

"FEMA won't turn loose of the generators until they inspect the area themselves. They keep saying that will be tomorrow. I've heard that for days," he said. "We know the exact size we need. We told them. Apparently, that's difficult for them to accept."

Anderson said that, without air circulating in the closed facility in this climate, mold and mildew can start growing everywhere. The lack of water and properly working toilet facilities exacerbates the problem, he said.
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Tiger roaming hurricane-ravaged streets in Texas

Tiger roaming hurricane-ravaged streets in Texas
The Associated Press
Sept. 16, 2008

GALVESTON, Texas — Texas authorities busy trying to clean up after Hurricane Ike have a new problem on their hands: There's a tiger loose.

A county official said Tuesday that the animal somehow left its enclosure at an exotic pets center in Crystal Beach. Animal experts are coming in to try and catch the tiger.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike victims search streets for food, water, gas

Ike victims search streets for food, water, gas
60 survivors found on isolated peninsula; death toll at 37 in 9 states
MSNBC News Services
updated 1 hour, 52 minutes ago
HOUSTON - Thousands of victims of Hurricane Ike settled in at shelters for what could be weeks, and others waited wearily in line for food, water, ice and gasoline Monday as it became increasingly clear the disaster along the Texas coast would be measured not by its death toll but by the misery it spread.

Almost three days after the storm steamrolled the coast, the extent of the damage was still coming into focus, with rescue teams finally reaching some of the hardest-hit and most inacessible places, including Bolivar Peninsula, a resort on Galveston Bay where entire neighborhoods were obliterated.

While the number of confirmed deaths was still remarkably low at 37 in Texas and eight other states, the distress was considerable.

Nearly 37,000 people were in shelters in Texas, and there was no word on when those living in the most devastated towns, such as Galveston, might return. An estimated 2.2 million people in Texas alone remained without power. Many service stations had no gasoline, or no electricity to pump it. With no running water, some residents were dumping toilet waste directly into the sewers. Major highways were still under water.
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Houston Food Bank calls for volunteers and donors

September 15, 2008
Houston Food Bank calls for volunteers and donors

HOUSTON -- The Houston Food Bank is calling for volunteers to help sort,
process and box food and other necessities for distribution to its member
agencies - church pantries, shelters and other relief agencies - to assist
with recovery from Hurricane Ike.

Volunteers ages 8 and older are needed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5
p.m. beginning on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at the Houston Food Bank, 3811 Eastex Freeway. Volunteers can register in advance at or in person when they arrive. Volunteers are asked
to wear closed-toe shoes and shirts with sleeves.

The Houston Food Bank is also asking individuals and businesses that are
able and want to donate food, water and essential to drop off items at their
facility. The most needed items are:
Canned tuna or chicken, packed in water
Canned stews and pasta with meat (easy on salt and fat)
Peanut butter
Canned fruits in light syrup, natural applesauce
100% juice in cans or boxes (no glass, please)
Canned vegetables, tomatoes, tomato sauce
Soups with meat and/or beans, meal-in-a-can (easy on salt and fat) Cereals and cereal bars (easy on sugar and fat) Pasta, spaghetti, macaroni, noodles Packages of dry beans
** Please choose plastic containers or canned items rather than glass

For more information, please contact the Houston Food Bank at 713-223-3700.

Posted by Jason Spencer at September 15, 2008 04:33 PM

Officials say they fear more bodies may be in Texas debris

Ike blamed for 27 deaths from Texas to Midwest
Story Highlights
NEW: At least 500,000 Houston area customers get power back

Officials say they fear more bodies may be in Texas debris

Texas governor: Galveston residents may not be able to return for "weeks"

Winds, floodwaters take toll in Midwest

GALVESTON, Texas (CNN) -- The remnants of Hurricane Ike moved into Canada early Monday after the storm left a trail of destruction and 27 people dead from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes.

Hurricane-force winds from the storm were felt as far north as Kentucky, and heavy rains flooded streets in Chicago, Illinois.

Deaths related to the storm were reported in Louisiana, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio as well as Texas.

The toll could go higher. Chambers County, Texas, Judge Jimmy Sylvia told CNN late Sunday that there is nothing left of Oak Island, a city on the coast in Galveston Bay. Smith Point, to the south, has "mounds and mounds of debris," the judge said, and he fears they may find bodies in the rubble.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday it could be "weeks" before residents can return to Galveston, the island city that Hurricane Ike devastated when it made landfall early Saturday.
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rescuers saved almost 2,000 in Texas after Ike

Swamped survivors sort through rubble
Rescuers searching flooded streets and ruined houses left behind by Hurricane Ike said they saved nearly 2,000 people in the largest search-and-rescue operation in Texas history. Survivors, meanwhile, begin to take stock. "I've never seen water like this," said a 30-year Galveston resident. full story

Texas after Hurricane Ike

'I've never seen water like this'
Wanda Collins has lived four blocks from Galveston's seawall for 30 years, and though she's seen hurricanes hit coastal Texas before, she's never had 5 feet of water collect in the garage under her home. "I've never seen water like this," she said after Hurricane Ike hit. full story
'Lot of cleaning up to do' Ike videos See images of Ike's aftermath
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Blog: Coping with Hurricane Ike's aftermath