Helping Galveston

State officials and leaders spent the day touring Galveston Island to see the devastation left behind by Hurricane Ike. As Laurie Johnson reports — former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels says Galveston has a marathon of a recovery ahead.

The state’s Commission for Disaster Recovery and Renewal met in Galveston for the first time at the invitation of Galveston officials.

Robert Eckels heads up the commission. He says it was important for them to see the damage on the island first-hand.

“We have been through the immediate response to the storm. How can do a better job at responding today?”

The group spent the morning on a tour bus, surveying the damage to neighborhoods and employment hubs like UTMB.

“As we rebuild after this hurricane, how do we do a better job today, but in the longer term how do we make sure that what we build back is stronger and better and provides jobs and real economic opportunity and growth for the state of Texas? We rebuild this hospital, it needs to be rebuilt in some way that is hardened to hurricanes. But also, how can we provide better service?”

The commissioners also heard testimony from Galveston city officials and citizens about the need for more funding and assistance.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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