Hurricane Ike

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Palm Tree Blazes Baffle Texas Officials

(Newser) - Officials in the coastal Texas town of Galveston are baffled by a series of arson fires targeting palm trees, the Houston Chronicle reports. “This is strange,” the town’s fire marshal says of the spree, which has hit 30 trees since May. “It’s the first case... More »

Docs Prep for Hurricane Ike Baby 'Boomlet'

Houston expects surge in births 9 months after storm cut power

(Newser) - A Houston hospital is bracing for a baby boom due 9 months after Hurricane Ike cut power to the region for days, the Chronicle reports. “There’s about a 25% increase in the number of deliveries coming up in mid-June to mid-July,” said one doctor. Another physician is... More »

SNL Expects Obama Nov. 1

Meyers spills the beans to Palin at afterparty, aide tells blogger

(Newser) - Saturday Night Live has lined up Barack Obama for Nov. 1—the weekend before the election, blogger Martin Eisenstadt says he’s hearing from an aide to Sarah Palin. In boozy glee over the successful Palin appearance Saturday, SNL political writer Seth Meyers blurted, “just wait til you see... More »

300 in Limbo as Houston's Last Ike Shelter Closes

Many still wrangling with FEMA, other agencies, blast 'ridiculous lies'

(Newser) - The Red Cross will boot nearly 300 Hurricane Ike survivors from its remaining Houston shelter Sunday, the Chronicle reports, leaving them to the care of federal and local agencies some accuse of “ridiculous lies.” The possibility of transitional housing does little for one FEMA reject, who was told... More »

Ex-Presidents Call for More Ike Funds

Bush and Clinton, having raised $1.5M, see more need in devastated Texas

(Newser) - Former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton called today for more money to aid Texas communities devastated by Hurricane Ike, the Houston Chronicle reports. The pair, who toured the Galveston area, has raised $1.5 million for their Bush-Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund. The money will be used to... More »

Daughter Finds Long-Lost Dad Too Late

Man who died saving dogs during Hurricane Ike hailed as hero

(Newser) - An email from a stranger brought an entirely unexpected end to Alaina Emery’s 13-year hunt for her father. “Is your father’s name Robert Emery?” the emailer asked. “The whole city of Houston is looking for any relatives.” Emery, Alaina soon learned, was being hailed as... More »

Ike Spilled 500K Gallons of Gulf Oil

Strong winds, waves damaged dozens of oil platforms

(Newser) - Hurricane Ike knocked at least a half million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and nearby waterways, according to an AP analysis of environmental reports. Worst hit were oil platforms near the coast of Louisiana, but about half of the spill occurred at a facility on Goat... More »

Ike Returnees Battle Chronic Mold Outbreak

Earlier return may have curbed fungus on Galveston Island

(Newser) - Initial relief that their Texas property survived Hurricane Ike quickly dissipated for many returning to Galveston Island who discovered colorful mold breeding wildly on virtually everything left standing. Damp, hot buildings were left sealed for two weeks when residents evacuated, giving the fungus plenty of time to nestle into the... More »

Media Focus Elsewhere Hurts Gulf Coast Relief Efforts

Media coverage pales in comparison to Katrina disaster

(Newser) - Relief organizations are struggling to raise funds for their work in hurricane-battered areas of Texas and Louisiana, a marked difference from 2005, when millions flowed in to help Katrina victims. “The camera and the lights didn't stay on” this time, a Red Cross worker tells MSNBC, distracted by fresher... More »

Evacuees Return to Battered Galveston

Damage varies widely in Texas town hit by Ike

(Newser) - Heaps of furniture and electronics lined Galveston's streets as evacuees returned to the Texan island to salvage their belongings, the Galveston County Daily News reports. Some were spared from Hurricane Ike’s wrath altogether, while others discovered their homes completely flattened. In the city's central housing projects, first-floor residents found... More »

Hurricanes Prompt Calls to Soften Restrictions on Cuba

Some see aid now as a path toward increased influence, cooperation

(Newser) - The devastation Hurricanes Gustav and Ike wrought on Cuba has prompted the US to offer direct aid for the first time in the 47-year history of its embargo on the island, but even ardent anti-Castro Cuban Americans are pushing for more, the Washington Post reports. While not all favor lifting... More »

Officials: Texas Needs $40B From Feds for Ike Cleanup

Mayors ask Congress to move quickly on relief

(Newser) - Texas officials told Congress today they might need up to $40 billion in aid to rebuild the state's hurricane-hit areas, the Houston Chronicle reports. The state's lieutenant governor sought at least $11.5 billion of aid and as many trailer homes as available to help the 770 communities damaged by... More »

Ike Evacuees Sneak Back Into Galveston

(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... More »

Ike Uncovers Mystery Shipwreck

Wooden wreck on Alabama beach could be remains of Confederate schooner

(Newser) - The waves of Hurricane Ike uncovered a wooden shipwreck on an Alabama beach that experts think could be a Civil War schooner, the Mobile Press-Register reports. The wreck's length matches that of the Monticello, which ran aground in the area in 1862 while trying to sneak past the US Navy... More »

Texas May Take Homes Now Sitting on Post-Ike Beaches

(Newser) - News is going from bad to worse for some Texas homeowners. Hundreds of beachfront homes damaged by Hurricane Ike—and even some left spared—might be condemned thanks to a state law making it illegal to build on public beaches, the AP reports. The homes didn't move, but as Ike... More »

IRS Loosens Deadlines For Taxpayers Pummeled by Ike

Fall dates for filing and tax payments pushed back to Jan. in Texas, La.

(Newser) - Taxpayers in Texas counties and Louisiana parishes hit by Hurricane Ike will get until Jan. 5 to take care of tax filings and payments due this fall, the Internal Revenue Service said today. The IRS said the deadline extensions apply to 29 Texas counties and 14 Louisiana parishes declared presidential... More »

Ike Pounded Fragile Ecosystems

Coastal damage from development intensified storm's impact

(Newser) - Hurricane Ike caused massive damage to fragile coastal ecosystems already clobbered by development, the Dallas Morning News reports. Damage to wetlands vital to a vast range of life could take a generation to heal, scientists warn. As with Hurricane Katrina, human development had already destroyed marshes and other natural defenses,... More »

Hurricanes Smoke Cuban Cigar Biz

Double blow from Gustav, Ike to cost billions

(Newser) - Back-to-back blows from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike have the Cuban tobacco industry reeling, reports the Miami Herald. Hurricane Ike alone destroyed half of this year's tobacco plants, more than 3,000 tobacco-drying barns and nearly 9,000 homes for workers. The destruction occurred just days after Gustav had already wreaked... More »

US May Seek World's Emergency Fuel

Feds still gauging disruption to supplies from Gulf hurricanes

(Newser) - The Bush administration may ask the International Energy Agency to release emergency fuel stocks into the domestic market to cushion losses from hurricane-battered oil refineries, Reuters reports. Gustav and Ike temporarily closed a dozen Gulf Coast refineries, though all are in "reasonably good shape" according to an official, resulting... More »

Texas Makes Little Headway in Recovery From Ike

Galveston, Houston homes still lack power, gas, water

(Newser) - Houston- and Galveston-area communities continued to struggle post-Hurricane Ike today, the AP reports. Divers cleared debris from navigation routes into Houston and looked for bodies along the coastline; most of the city remains without power for a fifth day. On Galveston Island and the nearby Bolivar Peninsula—which still lack... More »

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