Galveston’s historic district is under 7 feet of water, and 4 million Houston area residents are without power after Hurricane Ike’s rampage through the region. Ike, which hit Galveston as a Category 2 hurricane, has since been downgraded to a Category 1, CNN reports. Officials warned that the storm will retain hurricane force through this afternoon.
Local government is now turning toward rescue and recovery efforts, but the evacuated will have to wait before they return home. “The last thing we want to do is put our citizens back into a situation where they may be in harm's way,” a Galveston County official said. Three deaths in Texas have been attributed to Ike, which will move next into western Arkansas.