Image:A Cowboy attempts to round up cattle from receding flood waters along Gulfway drive, Monday, Sept. 15, 2008, Near High Island, Texas. Several cattle were lost following the land fall of Hurricane Ike and those that survived were being rounded up and taken to a nearby fresh watering hole where they were also being fed. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) Slideshow: Hurricane Ike
HOUSTON – Tens of thousands of residents first hunkered down to wait for Hurricane Ike's brutal punch. Those survivors on the wrecked Texas coast must now wait again — for food, water and ice, for the electricity to return to their homes, for that first hot meal and shower.
For some, the wait could be days. For others, it could be weeks.
"A good bath would be nice: have the fire department swing by and spray us down," said Carlos Silliman, 48, as he sat on a picnic bench in front of his Galveston Island home, where 18 inches of water flooded his garage and ruined a freezer full of venison. "I'm ready to have a cold beer and read the paper."
For most, such luxuries are far beyond the horizon. Many service stations have no gasoline, and some major highways remain under water. More than 30,000 evacuees are still living in nearly 300 public shelters, and roughly 2 million people in Texas alone are without power.
Ike's victims have already walked for miles and waited for hours at supply distribution centers, gobbling up all that was offered: 1 million bottles of water, 1 million meals and 600,000 pounds of ice in just the first 36 hours after the storm passed.