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Galveston Faces Health Crisis

Galveston is not under a mandatory evacuation, but officials say the city is facing a health crisis. FEMA Galveston County Coordinator Jamie Forero says people on the island should leave.

image of speaker, click here for audio“We’ve reached the point where although it’s your choice to stay please listen to them because now staying means you are impeding potentially the work of your friends and neighbors here trying to restore the public infrastructure.”

Texas Health Commissioner Doctor David Lakey says Galveston is not suitable for living and is facing a health crisis.

image of speaker, click here for audio“Still don’t have running water. We do not have a sewage system. We do not have on the island electricity so that refrigerators can keep for safe. That is a set up for food borne illnesses, for diarrheal illnesses.”

The National Guard continues to evacuate people from the island. Colonel John Nichols says they are taking an average of 300 people off the island by air conditioned bus. He says they will continue evacuations as people show up. But he says they are seeing the deteriorating conditions of the people first hand.

image of speaker, click here for audio“What we’ve witnessed though is the folks that are showing up at the evacuation point, we see deteriorating health also. We see folks with dehydration, fatigue, stress.”

Galveston officials say they are still working on a developing a new plan to allow residents to come back to the island to check on their homes. The look and leave policy was halted when too many residents tried to return at once.

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