Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst visit Galveston Island to view the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

AUSTIN – To get a full view of the extensive damage to Galveston from Hurricane Ike, Gov. Rick Perry took an aerial tour of the area on Sunday, Sept. 14.

"It's difficult to see parts of our state in this condition, but it is the current reality and we're working through a recovery operation that is massive in scale and complexity," Gov. Perry said in a press release. "People in the area need to understand that our team is working 'round the clock to restore services while people outside the area need to stay away until we have reached an acceptable level of safety."

After the flyover, Perry made an on-the-ground visit to Galveston Island and Ellington Airfield to meet with local emergency management officials.

Gov. Perry was accompanied by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Steve McCraw, Texas Director of Homeland Security.

The top priority of the Governor's Division of Emergency Management remains search and rescue, with nearly 2,000 storm victims rescued in the course of nearly 500 missions. Restoration of utility services is being aggressively pursued at the same time.

Bad weather in southeast Texas prevented the governor from visiting that area of the state on Sunday, but on Monday, Sept. 15, Perry made a stop in Orange. Orange County is the part of Southeast Texas that has been the most heavily impacted by Hurricane Ike.

He later visited with Southeast Texans who had evacuated to a shelter in Austin.

Perry said the state is working diligently with local officials and private sector partners to fully restore essential services, including power, water and fuel. The governor also urged residents who are currently in shelters to remain there until local officials have deemed it safe to return home.

"Residents who have evacuated, stay where you are," Perry said. "The worst thing that could happen is for people who are in a safe area where there is food, water and electricity to return to communities that have yet to have essential services restored."

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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