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No Place Like Home: Ike Victims May Not Get OK to Rebuild

A latent Texas law may keep beachfront homeowners from rebuilding after Hurricane Ike's devastation. Texas's 1959 Open Beaches Act prohibits private homes on public beaches. Whether a beach is public depends on tide lines, which can be upset by hurricanes like Ike. Thus, homes previously located on private property may end up on the wrong side of the law.

Even worse, the owners may not know for up to a year whether or not the state has condemned their land due to the status of the beach. If they finally receive the bad news, there will be no compensation from the state.

As for other immediate concerns, Gulf Coast hospitals are struggling to restore healthcare services, and millions of residents still lack power. The two issues are actually interrelated, as power outages have caused Texas clinics to stay closed.

It sounds like life as usual might still be far off for many Texans.


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CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Janneth there are places in Pensacola florida which got hit by IVAN, that should never be rebuilt upon, yet the last time i was there a couple of months ago they were, HIGH beachfront homes on STILTS. ....i dont understand it.
janneth janneth 7 years
I know there are natural disasters that are possible in every location, the govt needs to provide emergency relief, etc. But what about people who build beautiful beachfront homes, or hillside mansions on stilts. Do they bear any responsiblility when hurricanes and mudslides occur. I really hate to kick them when they are down, however, should they be allowed to rebuild? on the same spot?
brielleblonde brielleblonde 7 years
i don't understand that when storms hit north carolina and florida people never ask for help or money... i live a couple blocks away from the beach in new jersey and HAVE to get hurricane and flood insurance, which will cover expenses. I remember hurricane floyd hit in 1999 and we didn't receive any help from the government or others.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
I have a question. I had heard on the news that although the death toll is low, there are still many people missing, that are feared to have been swept out to sea. How many people are missing? Could the death toll dramatically increase once the missing people are declared dead?
liliblu liliblu 7 years
It's not that people don't care. The news media talked about Ike long before it made landfall. There were stories and updates through out the storm. The media covered the destruction afterwards. But just like after Katrina, when the bodies were found and the real clean up began most media outlets moved on the next Big Story. Individuals and groups however are still donating to the Red Cross, sending supplies, or volunteering to help.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Who is comparing? They are both awful. The point I have been trying to make is that people for the most part don't seem to care here until the death toll is abysmal.
liliblu liliblu 7 years
Ike is not getting the same coverage because the visuals are not the same. You don't see people on rooftops, begging for help. Over 1,800 people died due to Katrina and the response to Katrina and there still people considered "missing". Large numbers of children were seperated from their parents. There were images of dead bodies floating down the street. I thank God that Texas did not suffer the same loss of life. Many communities were devasated by Ike and people need help. But you really can not compare the two storms.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
And good for you too Heidi!
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Good for you bella! Actually doing something besides getting on the internet and saying it isn't as bad as another tragedy!
stephley stephley 7 years
No one is saying the media NEEDS 1700 deaths to have a story. Earlier posts complained that Katrina got more coverage than Ike and I explained that Katrina was a more deadly hurricane affecting more people - Ike is getting coverage, no one is ignoring the stories of hardship that people are facing. But it simply is not catastrophic. I'm sorry if the people of Texas feel they're being slighted by the media. It's interesting to me that earlier in the week, whenever any commented criticized FEMA's slow action again this time often the response was that everything was being handled and there was no reason to complain. But there is reason to complain that the media isn't do enough?
HeidiMD HeidiMD 7 years
I will be looking into places around my city that are doing drives for the Ike victims this week. I don't know which is worse -- 1700 people dying in Katrina, or the American media needing 1700 to deaths to have a story.
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
Wow, I am so glad our supplies, care packages, and the money is being able to be received, now. I've heard some good things about the help being received. We are packing up more supplies starting tomorrow and the rest of the week. My heart so goes out to the people affected. Please donate to Red Cross or your local church (since many are sending supplies as well).
stephley stephley 7 years
It would be a local failure because the death toll for all of Ike stands at 61 a week after the Hurricane died out. When I said that Katrina had a much higher death toll you said: "If this keeps up the death toll could be that high. I am here, I see it." So, if the death toll in Texas climbs, it would not be because of the Hurricane. It's over, it's gone, there is no more hurricane to do further damage that could kill 1,700 people. There are not 1,700 bodies yet to be found from Ike. So if the death toll in Texas climbs, it will be because someone in Texas screws up royally. That makes it a local problem. I don't know where you get a racial issue in that.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
it sounds to me like this is the same thing that was happening in Florida a couple years ago when we got hit over and over again by storms. it's definitely a hard thing to understand but the other side of it is that we're seeing a trend of REALLY bad storms lately and if it happened this year, what's to say that it's not going to happen again. i think that one of the necessary next steps once the property owners know if they have land or not is that if they do, the state should require that they have personal flood insurance rather than rely on the feds to help them since it's kind of turning into a build at your own risk type thing.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
exactly
Michelann Michelann 7 years
I'm confused as to why it would be a local failure in Texas, when the aftermath of Katrina was a National failure.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Because, I hope you know, all races are represented in the area. And aren't libs supposed to want to help all those who are suffering, or just those who are suffering the most well covered by the media?
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
You're right steph, they should just buck up. They don't need help. Or is it a color thing? You always seem to bring that up. The whitewashing of certain places, etc.
stephley stephley 7 years
The government says Katrina killed 1800 people, Ike has killed 61-including an electrician trying to restore power in Kentucky. If Texas' numbers start climbing that high from this point, it's a local failure, not the storm and not even FEMA.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
If this keeps up the death toll could be that high. I am here, I see it.
stephley stephley 7 years
Probably has something to do with the death toll not being as high as Katrina and the fact that just as Ike left, the economy went into the toilet.
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 7 years
great sommelier my fiance and i were just discussing this, and how IKE is not getting the press KATRINA did, I'm glad someone else sees it
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Yes. Texas is the only state that can fly their flag at the same height as the US flag, but not above it. But, that is obviously something someone just threw out there. It is still awful here. Half Price Books and several other businesses are doing huge drives this weekend for Ike victims. Asking for everything and anything from water to candy. These people need help. Just because this isn't getting the press of Katrina doesn't mean these people aren't suffering. There needs to be the same national outreach for these people as there was for katrina victims.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Why is the Texas flag all wonky? And why is it above the American flag? Isn't that a flag etiquette no-no?
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