Ike Evacuees Sneak Back Into Galveston

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 20, 2008 8:04 PM CDT
Workers remove mud from businesses in Galveston's historic downtown district Friday, Sept. 19, 2008, in Galveston, Texas.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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(Newser) – Rats, raw sewage, and a no-excuses curfew await exiled residents who try to return to Texas' storm-wrecked Galveston Island when it reopens next week, officials warned today. But that didn't keep some of the 45,000 evacuated islanders from trying to get home. Some ignored orders to turn around outside the city, while others resorted to deception to sneak past police guarding a roadblock.

David Culpepper met his brother Joe in Atlanta, put a phony magnetic sign on a truck to masquerade as contractors. Guards at the checkpoint waved them right in. Meanwhile, fuel and other essentials remain scarce. Some businesses were beginning to reopen, cell service was improving, and electricity was coming back on. "Not getting on this island was not an option," David Culpepper said. "We have a brother in need."