hurricane ike shakes galveston's economic boom - commercial outdoor barbecue grill
Carey Gillan Galveston, TexasReuters)-Long-
Galveston resident Sylvia Hernández experienced several hurricanes in 72 years.
But in her two boats, after riding Hurricane Ike's wall of water and wind --
Herndez decided it was time to leave.
For her, Galveston is gone.
Earlier last Saturday, before Ike landed, a pile of destroyed houses and businesses were left behind, and Galveston, a coastal barrier island, was in what local officials described as an economic "revival.
"Now residents are wondering if they will come back --
They are as emotional as any other storm.
A city like New Orleans.
"I'm not going to stay," herndez said, standing on the debris under the avocado tree . "Scattered backyard
"I think this is the end of Galveston.
"Four days after Ike landed in Galveston earlier on Saturday, the 60,000-member city was in a state of emergency, city officials warned, basic necessities such as health crisis and lack of clean water power supply and flush toilet.
The prospect of Galveston was bright before Ike arrived, for only $2.
According to the city's Chamber of Commerce, 6 billion of the investment is ongoing or ongoing.
$1 billion in Port losses-a-
The impact on the city has not been assessed.
Steve Cernak, port director, said it would take about four weeks to fully open to traffic.
In addition to the proliferation of bustling tourism and cruise travel in the historic seaside area, the city has reshaped itself as a health and biotechnology center, supported by a $0. 6 billion building at the University of Texas Medical and top universities
Laboratory of biosafety
With 6,600 new housing units under development and more than 3 million square feet of new commercial space under development, "Galveston has experienced an economic revival in the last 8 to 10 years, jeff stestrom, president of the Galveston partnership for economic development, said.
"This is obviously a challenge for us.
"It's a marathon now, not a sprint, and the recovery in Galveston will be a" marathon, not a sprint, "said Sjostrom, who expressed confidence that the city will eventually be rebuilt.
But some residents want to know if it makes sense to continue investing in a barrier city so vulnerable to storms.
Galveston is known for its 1900 hurricane, which killed about 8,000 people.
Since then, the city has built berms and has been thriving as a seaside resort for decades.
This time it may have been the Haitang that saved Galveston.
But in general, thousands of homes and businesses were damaged by 11 feet of the flooding, and insurance adjusters were just beginning to flood the island to calculate losses.
Many hotels and restaurants in Galveston have suffered great damage.
Tilman Fertitta, one of the region's largest commercial property owners, estimates that he alone suffered $10 million in damage to 15 properties on the island.
Alfred Simpson, who runs Simp kitchen and barbecue in downtown Galveston, saw his flood and fire insurance canceled 18 months before premiums soared.
Simpson said his restaurant, now one of the oldest commercial buildings in the area, could face demolition.
"It's over," Simpson said after running out of the lucky liquor store on the street . ".
The conditions for restoring urban services are still severe and it is expected to take a few weeks, with debris removal and reconstruction taking longer.
Meanwhile, officials have set up aid centres on the island, where Salvation Army vans are sent to the troll community to distribute hot meals and bottled water to hungry homeowners and their children.
Although officials are trying to help the residents who stay, they are still begging them to leave.
The damage is so widespread and the situation is so severe due to lack of electricity, fresh water and sewage treatment, officials say they are worried about outbreaks of diseases such as diarrhea and food poisoning.
It sounds good for people like herndez to leave.
She and her son, Steve, survived the storm as the water filled the lower floors of the house and she and all kinds of pets crowded into the attic.
Her fridge was floating when she showed up.
Along with neighbor Jesse Pena, herndez and her son rushed to the toilet over the past few days with captured rain, sharing the food cooked on an outdoor grill, reflecting on the sense of security they once lost.
"We have too many hurricanes," Pena said . " He has lived in Galveston for 42 years and has experienced many storms.
"Yes, I'm going out. " (
Additional reports by Tim Geithner in Galveston and Chris Baltimore in Houston;
Editor Bill Trott)