Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rescuing Ike stalwarts a race against the clock

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Rescue crews canvassed neighborhoods inundated by Ike's storm surge early Sunday morning, racing against time to rescue those who faced a second harrowing night trapped amid flattened houses, strewn debris and downed power lines.

One team of paramedics, rescue dogs and structural engineers fanned out under a full moon on a finger of land in Galveston Bay. Authorities hoped to spare thousands of Texans — 140,000 by some estimates — who ignored mandates to flee Hurricane Ike from another night among the destruction. Some had been rescued, but unknown thousands remained stranded. Only four deaths had been blamed on Ike so far — two in Texas and two in Louisiana — and rescuers hoped to keep that tally from rising.

But roads blocked by waist-deep water and downed trees kept many rescuers at bay as they struggled through the largest search-and-rescue effort in state history, just a day after the Category 2 storm crashed into Texas with 110 mph winds.

No comments: