Sep 15, 2008

Public Health Concerns Rise in Hurricane Ike Aftermath

Authorities say it could be a month before water and power are restored to some parts of Galveston Island

Public health concerns are growing for survivors of Hurricane Ike stuck on Galveston Island. There is no water or power, no working toilets and no food or phones, the New York Times reported.

It might be a month before water and power were restored to some parts of the island and the wastewater treatment plant was in bad shape, authorities said. Only emergency personnel were being allowed onto the island.

Five people were found dead in Galveston on Sept. 14, the paper reported. Officials feared more would be discovered as other flooded areas were searched, particularly the hard-hit west end of the island.

“We had been taking rescue calls” from the west end, City Manager Steve LeBlanc said at a news conference, “but we have lost all communication with them. We know there were people out there. What happened to them, I’m not sure.”

Six drinking water plants and 34 wastewater treatment facilities were in the area expected to be affected by storm surge, CNN reported.