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Ike Update From TPWD: Game Wardens Complete Search and Rescue, Parks/Wildlife/Fisheries Staff Assess Damage
4:30 p.m. CDT — Update 8
Below is information sent by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the Governor’s Press Office today. The governor’s office is coordinating official communication about Ike for the State of Texas, including TPWD activities. The following information is provided as a service and convenience for TPWD’s audience. For complete information, see the Texas governor’s web site at http://governor.state.tx.us/, or news media may phone the press office at (512) 463-1826.
Texas Game Wardens/TPWD Law Enforcement Division
- TPWD has had approximately 200 game wardens and associated boats and equipment deployed for Hurricane Ike.
- A team of 30 Texas game wardens from outside coastal areas led by Maj. Rolly Correa today departed Southeast Texas after four hard days in the field. This group has been replaced by a similar 30-person strike team led by Capt. Audie Nelson, which today is continuing search and rescue work in hard-hit communities on the Bolivar Peninsula, some of which can still only be accessed by airboat.
- Most other game warden strike teams have shifted from search and rescue to focus on law enforcement patrols, looting prevention and related assistance at the request of affected cities and counties. This includes teams in Vidor and Rose City in Orange County, plus patrols in nearby areas along the Neches River, Sabine River, Cow Bayou, and Adams Bayou.
- Other strike teams deployed today include one to Woodville in Tyler County to provide enforcement and check on residents in rural areas, and another to Livingston to assist Polk County law enforcement.
- Game wardens continue to work 12-hour shifts patrolling remote Brazoria County residential and business locations, contacting and deterring potential thieves and trespassers.
- In several cases, game wardens working tirelessly to search and rescue citizens or assist local governments are hurricane victims themselves. Hector Gonzalez, who made multiple rescues Monday on the Bolivar Peninsula, temporarily put aside the fact that his house in Anahuac was flooded. Clint Caywood likewise knew his home in Bridge City was flooded with four feet of water, but for days he overlooked his personal situation and focused on assisting others.*
Texas State Parks
- This morning, a total of 22 Texas State Parks remain closed due to Ike, down from 37 closures at the event’s height.
- Since the storm event began, 5,828 evacuees have been given shelter at63 state parks outside Ike’s path.
- Two coastal parks, Galveston and Sea Rim, have suffered catastrophic damage.Facilities at Sea Rim near Port Arthur appear to be a total loss. At Galveston Island, Ike caused heavy beach erosion and swept awaystateparkfacilities.
- The San Jacinto Battleground and six other state parks suffered significant damage ranging from downed trees and power lines to storm surge flooding and wind damage to buildings and facilities.
Ecological Impacts/Fish and Wildlife Kills
- Aerial overflights Monday allowed biologists in TPWD’s Wildlife, State Parks and Coastal Fisheries Divisions to begin assessing ecological impacts and damage to various TPWD sites and facilities.
- The department is asking people who encounter dead or dying fish and wildlife or pollution that is threatening fish and wildlife or human health to please contact TPWD’s 24-Hour Law Enforcement Communication Center in Houston at 281-842-8100.
On the Net:
- TPWD Emergency Information: http://tpwd.texas.gov/site/emergency/
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