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TPWD News Release — Sept. 18, 2008
Sep. 18 Ike News Update from Texas Parks & Wildlife
10 a.m. CDT — Update 10
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.
For complete TPWD Ike news, including dozens of high resolution photos for news media use, go to tpwd.texas.gov/site/emergency/.
Texas Game Wardens/TPWD Law Enforcement Division
- TPWD has had approximately 200 game wardens and associated boats and equipment deployed for Hurricane Ike.
- Game warden search and rescue operations continue on the Bolivar Pennisula today. Yesterday, strike teams rescued an elderly couple of which the husband had congestive heart failure. The Bolivar team also yesterday aided the safe extraction of a lion and tiger that had become residents on the peninsula with the help of the owners and the Houston Zoo.
- A greater number of 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 teamsspread across multiple counties, mainly on the upper coast in the greater Houston-Galveston and Beaumont-Port Arthur areas, but also in East Texas.
Texas State Parks
- This morning, 17 Texas State Parks are closed due to Ike, down from 37 closures at the event’s height. Since the storm event began, more than 5,900 evacuees have been given shelter at64 state parks outside Ike’s path. These climbing numbers shown evacuees are continuing to arrive at some parks, although many have departed since evacuees first started arriving last week.
- 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 maintenance response teams will continue to assist on-site staff with basic needs through week’s end. Park enforcement officers have accomplished missions to secure sites and been demobilized. Natural resource and infrastructure damage evaluations will continue into next week, but commercial timber salvage operations at Huntsville and Lake Livingston State Parks are already being negotiated.
Ecological Impacts/Fish and Wildlife Kills
- TPWD is tracking more than 26 contaminant spills causing fish and in affected coastal areas.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.
- 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.
- 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/