More than 48 hours after Hurricane Ike few photos or videos exist to document the devastation on Bolivar Peninsula. Emergency workers arrived for the first time today expecting to find more victims as waters recede.
This is an update to yesterday’s article: Hurricane Ike: The Untold Story
Although Bolivar has about 4,000 or more regular residents, it is home to about 30,000 people during the summer season. Nobody knows how many stayed behind and ignored the mandatory evacuation orders. It is known, however, that a hungry lion is holed up in the Baptist Church with its owner both waiting to be rescued.
AP Top News at 12:36 p.m. EDT presents today’s grim picture:
More than 48 hours after Hurricane Ike swamped the Gulf Coast, rescuers flew for the first time Monday into areas cut off by the storm and found a scene of devastation, with whole subdivisions obliterated, and began evacuating survivors. A Texas helicopter task force flew 115 rescuers onto the heavily damaged resort barrier island of Bolivar Peninsula, just east of hard-hit Galveston. Task force leader Chuck Jones said they were the first rescuers to reach the area that is home to about 30,000 people in the peak summer beach season.
According to the Houston Chronicle, a mobile morgue is en route to Galveston as the search continues. So far there are a total of five dead, but thousands of homes still need to be searched. “Search teams also were being sent to the Bolivar Peninsula for the first time.”
Associated Baptist Press reports:
Authorities reportedly feared that more would be found dead as they began recovery efforts in the remote Bolivar Peninsula, just east of Galveston. The sparsely-populated area suffered the highest winds and largest storm surge of the hurricane -- and many residents were unable to evacuate because wind-driven high water began cutting off escape routes nearly 24 hours before the storm made landfall.
KFDM News published Dire Assessment of Hurricane Ike's Impact on Bolivar Peninsula
The first information available about the extent of Hurricane Ike's impact on Crystal Beach includes reports that from the big store to the ferry - nothing is left.
NewsDay.com reported a hungry lion awaits would be rescuers:
"They had a lot of devastation over there," task force leader Chuck Jones said. "It took a direct hit."
Jones did not have information on whether anyone had died on the island, mainly because leaders still don't know how many people stayed through the storm that struck early Saturday.
Of particular concern is a resident who collects exotic animals who is now holed up in a Baptist church with his pet lion. "We're not going in there," Jones said. "We know where he (the lion) is on the food chain."