Ike Still Has Victims

Two years after Hurricane Ike hit Galveston, many residents on the island are still struggling to recover. Housing officials in Galveston County are encouraging residents whose homes were battered by Ike to apply for federal rebuilding assistance. Pat Hernandez has more.

Hurricane Ike slammed the Galveston area on September 13, 2008. It left over 29-billion in damage, making it the costliest natural disaster in the history of Texas. Brad Hubbard is program manager for the Galveston County Housing
Assistance Program. He says Ike damaged or destroyed an estimated 8-thousand homes.

"(Houses with) blue tarps, or the house was completely gone, or people had three or four feet of water in their homes and now there's mold and other issues that are going on inside their homes that we need to get in and help them rectify that situation."

Hubbard says millions in federal grant dollars are available for any family with no insurance whose primary home was damaged. He says there's been confusion about a deadline for Hurricane Ike victims to apply for assistance.

"We're supposed to complete our projects, essentially twelve months from now, on the third anniversary of the storm. That doesn't mean that extensions can't be applied for it that time."

Hubbard says more than 3-million dollars has so far been granted from the federal program administered by the county.

"We're working diligently right now with the people that have applied. Obviously, that's a pretty large number, the people that need help. Currently, we're working with a certain group of people right now, and getting them into new safe environments, or rehabilitating their homes up to this time."

The first home was completed in June and some 2-dozen others will be built by the end of the year. For more information on the Hurricane Ike Federal Assistance program for Galveston County, call 877 221-8215 or log on to www.galvestoncountyhap.com.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...