Monday, September 15, 2008

Last house standing: Hurricane Ike's £7bn trail of destruction

It stands alone as if protected by divine intervention.

While its neighbours - as far as the eye can see - were ripped from their foundations and obliterated, this house amazingly escaped the force of a brute called Ike.

Today the death toll from the hurricane had risen to 25 across nine states one of the biggest search and rescue operation in U.S. history got under way.

Nearly 2,000 people were plucked to safety from their flooded homes with hundreds more awaiting rescue.
The confirmed death toll from Hurricane Ike stood at 13.

But search teams stocked with body bags were scouring communities including Galveston, where 20,000 ignored a mandatory evacuation order.

‘We hope for the best but I want to prepare people for the fact that we may have some fatalities,’ said

Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff. Some told remarkable stories of survival.

Denis Covington, 63, of Port Bolivar, southeast of Houston, had his home smashed in two by a falling pylon.

Both halves crashed into 14ft of floodwater. ‘I had to spend the second half of the hurricane in a tree just clinging on. The rain was like nails sticking in to me,’ he said.