Texas utlizing many resources in Hurricane Ike response
An aerial view of some of the coastal destruction caused by Hurricane Ike.
The following is a report from Gov. Rick Perry of the recovery efforts in Texas due to Hurricane Ike: Power companies in areas affected by Hurricane Ike continue to work around the clock to restore electricity. To date, power has been restored to 700,000 customers; however 2.2 million customers remain without power.
The Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas has launched a feature on its website to allow customers to check power outages by entering their utility provider and zip code at http://www.puc.state.tx.us/files/ike.cfm.
At the governor's request, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a waiver from Texas Low Emission Diesel standards (TxLED) in an effort to provide adequate diesel fuel supply for the generators, heavy equipment and other diesel-run vehicles needed for Hurricane Ike recovery. The EPA announced today they have granted the waiver.
"EPA's decision to grant this waiver will guarantee an uninterrupted, adequate diesel supply that is needed to ensure timely clean-up and recovery from Hurricane Ike," said Gov. Perry. "I want to especially thank Sen. John Cornyn – his personal call to Administrator Johnson was instrumental in securing the EPA waiver for Texas."
Search and rescue (SAR) efforts are ongoing along the Texas coast. To date, more than 3,300 residents from coastal areas have been rescued.
Post-landfall, 1,570 residents were evacuated from Galveston Island to San Antonio, including 85 medical special needs patients and 110 pets. Prior to landfall, a joint Coast Guard-State of Texas SAR mission ensured the safe rescue of 125 people from Bolivar Peninsula. Since landfall, SAR operations helped evacuate 10 people from Bolivar.
As of Monday afternoon, 295 shelters were open throughout the state housing more than 34,000 evacuees; more than 720 truckloads of water and 560 truckloads of ice have been distributed throughout the storm-affected areas.
The State of Texas currently has 49 Points of Distribution (PODs) open. For a listing of the most current POD locations, visit www.governor.state.tx.us/hurricane/recovery/11167. The state will continue to supply resources as needed. There are also several FEMA-operated PODs open throughout the disaster area.
Texas residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Ike who evacuated to another state may call 1-877-541-7905 to reach the Texas 2-1-1 network and obtain information on how and where to apply for food stamp benefits or seek additional assistance.
Texas residents displaced by Hurricane Ike who evacuated to another area of Texas may call 2-1-1 from any Texas landline or Texas cell phone to obtain information on how and where to apply for food stamp benefits or seek additional assistance.
As of 10 a.m. Sunday, 254 shelters were open throughout the state housing more than 37,000 evacuees. The number of evacuees utilizing shelter services fluctuates between day and night with more evacuees requiring assistance during the night.
Fifteen points of distribution (POD), staffed by Texas Military Forces, are expected to be open by midnight Sunday. FEMA is setting up PODs throughout the Houston area and the state will operate PODs set up in east Harris County.
At daybreak, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) estimated that more than 2.4 million customers were without power.
Search and rescue (SAR) efforts are ongoing. To date, 470 missions have been run and more than 500 structures have been checked for victims in need. More than 1,900 storm victims have been rescued (an estimated 394 victims via air and 1554 victims via ground and water), and more than 600 victims have been assisted without need for evacuation. A breakdown of SAR efforts via region is below:
521 medical evacuees
300 homes checked
220 rescued by boat
292 rescued at special needs facility
250 structures with light damage
125 rescues (ground and air)
16 buses are stationed in Orange to assist with continued evacuations. 9 busloads were evacuated from Orange Saturday night.
100 buses were staged in Texas City and sent into Galveston Sunday morning. SAR officials plan to evacuate up to 10,500 residents from Galveston. 4,000 evacuees are scheduled to be sent to shelters in Austin.
For important updated state agency information and for more information on Hurricane Ike, please visit the Hurricane Center on the governor's website at: http://www.governor.state.tx.us.
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