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TPWD News Release — Sept. 17, 2008
Sep. 17 Ike News Update from Texas Parks & Wildlife
10 a.m. CDT — Update 9
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 about 30 Texas game wardens today is continuing search and rescue work in hard-hit communities on the Bolivar Peninsula.
- 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 Orange County, plus patrols in nearby areas along the Neches River, Sabine River, Cow Bayou, and Adams Bayou. Other teams are in Tyler County, Polk County, Galveston County and Brazoria County, among other affected areas.
Texas State Parks
- This morning, a total of 18 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, 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 in Southeast and Northeast Texas suffered significant damage ranging from downed trees and power lines to storm surge flooding and wind damage to buildings and facilities.
- Park field response teams are securing sites, checking on staff and beginning cleanup and emergency repairs. Teams have completed recovery assignments at Martin Creek Lake, Caddo Lake, and Atlanta. Crews continue to work at Dangerfield, Mission Tejas, Huntsville, Lake Livingston, Brazos Bend, Martin Dies, Jr. and other sites.
Ecological Impacts/Fish and Wildlife Kills
- TPWD is tracking more than 26 spills in affected coastal areas that range from no reported volume to several thousand barrels of contaminants.The department is also is participating in a multi-agency, state/federal Natural Resource Damage Assessment effort planning to set up incident command in Clear Lake.Survey teams from NOAA and US Coast Guard Tuesday moved fromsearch and rescue operations to spill response, and TPWD is also preparing to field ecological assessment and response teams.
- The department is asking people in affected coastal areas 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.
TPWD Employee Relief
- The Human Resources Division is coordinating agency-wide employee disaster relief efforts aimed at supporting affected employees who lost homes or were otherwise affected by Ike. Initial plans call for amulti-part approach combining agency resources, plus donations from employees, various friends groups and the public.
- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has set up a special"TPWD Employee Hurricane Relief Fund." Donation checks can be mailed to: Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, Re: TPWD Employee Hurricane Relief Fund, 1901 North Akard, Dallas, TX 75201.
On the Net:
- TPWD Emergency Information: http://tpwd.texas.gov/site/emergency/