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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Check here for a compilation of our online coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

7:00pm : CenterPoint Energy reported that as of 8 p.m., the company had restored power to 588,000 customers and numerous key facilities. Of the 2.26 million CenterPoint Energy customers, 1.56 million customers, or 69 percent, are still without power.
6:30pm : Harris County’s official Web site,, has been updated with important Hurricane Ike recovery information and links. Visitors will find links to FEMA POD locations, debris removal updates and links to other government agencies essential to Hurricane Ike recovery. The county’s Web site will be updated on a daily basis as more information is received.
6:25pm : A range of serious complications due to the lack of electricity prohibits the Port of Houston Authority (PHA) from opening for business operations Wednesday, September 17. PHA is continuing to work with CenterPoint Energy to establish power.
6:15pm : The City of Houston has revised its temporary citywide curfew in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. The curfew will now be in place from 12 midnight until 6 a.m. daily, effective this evening until Sunday, Sept. 21.
6:10pm : Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas has suspended the Look and Leave program for Galveston Island, indefinitely, effective immediately.
6:00pm : The annual Hummingbird Festival at the Kleb Woods Nature Center, originally scheduled for Saturday, September 20, has been canceled. Because the festival is based on the migration timing and patterns of hummingbirds, the event will not be rescheduled, but will be held next year.
5:40pm : The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is offering food stamp assistance to victims of Hurricane Ike. Eligible Texans in disaster areas can receive up to two months of food stamp benefits by calling 2-1-1 or applying at any HHSC benefits office through October 17. The person submitting the application needs proof of identity and residence, such as a driver’s license.
4:11pm : M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is open for limited patient appointments today (Tuesday, Sept. 16) and will be fully operational tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 17.
4:09pm : Grace Community Church at 14505 Gulf Freeway is currently serving as a POD center and is seeking volunteers.
4:00pm : FEMA, at the request of the State of Texas, will activate its transitional sheltering initiative to allow eligible Ike evacuees from Texas, who cannot return to their homes, to stay in hotels or motels until it is safe for them go home. FEMA will pay for the lodging directly to hotels and motels. A listing of participating hotels is available online at
3:55pm : Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services is urging citizens of Harris County to avoid open burning of storm and tree debris created from Hurricane Ike. This includes tree branches and wooden fences. Improperly controlled burning of debris not only is a potential fire hazard but can also produce smoke that can irritate the eyes, nose and throat.
3:50pm : Anyone needing power for his or her wheelchair can obtain it at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center at 1475 W. Gray before the daily curfew. Also, anyone interested in donating or lending a wheelchair for emergency use can bring it to the George R. Brown Convention Center.
3:25pm : Continental Airlines is offering special rates for those in areas affected by Hurricane Ike. Domestic flights within 500 miles are $69 each way, and domestic flights over 500 miles are $119 each way.
2:30pm : Galveston residents allowed back in to inspect property- they are not allowed the stay overnight. Residents may enter between 6am and must leave by 6pm each day until further notice. This program has been canceled by the mayor of Galveston.
10:52am : We have a report that the FEMA Point of Distribution (POD) site in Pasadena has run out of everything except for ice.
10:30am : We have received a couple of useful reports. The Sears on Mason Road has both generators and chainsaws in stock. Also we’ve heard that plans to check University of Houston main campus students into the dorms are challenged by the fact there is no power or food available.
9:35am : Contrary to some earlier reports, City of Houston water supplies have not yet been certified as safe. Continue to boil City of Houston tap water before drinking it.
9:30am : City of Deer Park advises that their water continues to be safe to drink. City offices are open for business
9:00am : Many animals, frightened during the storm, have run away from their homes and are wandering lost. It is important that you report your lost animals and check animal shelters quickly, before your animal may be put down as a stray. Two emergency animal shelters have been opened up: 1st United Methodist Church of Humble, 800 Main St., Humble, Texas 77338 and Lamb of God Lutheran Church, 1400 FM 1960 East Bypass, Humble, Texas 77338. Also call the SPCA Animal Rescue line to report lost or found animals: 713-861-0161, 10am-6pm. Houston SPCA will also be accepting injured wildlife at the shelter (900 Portway Drive).
8:00am : Houston Bar Association has created free legal hotline for Hurricane Ike issues. The number is 713-759-1133, and it is open three hours per day- from 2pm to 5pm thru Oct 1.
7:45am : Electric customers are slowly coming back online, although serious damage such as broken or uprooted electric poles takes some time to repair. Centerpoint has maintained a twice-daily updated map of current outage areas
1:30am : More and more images are coming back from the coast, showing us the destruction in detail. NOAA has set up a website for homeowners and others to navigate the high resolution flyover images captured so far.

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