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Texas Coast Reels From Hurricane Ike’s Destruction

Days after Hurricane Ike made heavy landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast Friday, thousands of residents remain without power and water, and many evacuees are still unable to return to their homes because of flooding. Tom Bearden reports from Texas on the aftermath.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Now, Hurricane Ike's impact in Texas. NewsHour correspondent Tom Bearden is there, and he has our report.

  • TOM BEARDEN, NewsHour Correspondent:

    Aerial photography today showed the enormous havoc Hurricane Ike wreaked on the Texas coast. Thousands of homes were wiped away. What's left: just the outlines of towns and lives.

    Texas officials spent much of today assessing the damage two days after a 13-foot storm surge hit. Ike was a Category 2 storm. Survivors recalled the frightening night.

  • HURRICANE VICTIM:

    To realize after the fact you feel like you are just at the ends of the Earth, there's no way out, and you're going to die. The building shook. Fortunately, there was no windows blown out, except in the vehicles on the first level. But we just hunkered down.

  • HURRICANE VICTIM:

    There's houses without roofs, trees inside houses. I mean, there's boats — we've got boats in our lawn that's not ours.

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    What followed was the largest search-and-rescue operation in Texas history. Two thousand people were plucked from flooded areas by helicopter and by boat. Many residents became rescuers themselves, helping friends and neighbors to safety.

  • RESCUER:

    They were sleeping in their attics. They had — you could see where they had cut holes in the top of their attics to get out, you know, to get to at least safer grounds.

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    As many as 140,000 people throughout the region ignored evacuation orders. Since the storm passed, hundreds have lined up to board buses out of Galveston in search of shelter.

  • HURRICANE VICTIM:

    We were kind of huddled all in a room together with candles and, you know, whatever little food we had and water. It was horrible.

  • JOURNALIST:

    Where are you going now?

  • HURRICANE VICTIM:

    We have some water damage. That's why we're getting out. We don't have enough supplies to last us. They're saying it's going to be like a month before the water and everything comes on. We don't have enough supplies to last.

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