Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hurricane Ike, Pollution, and the Texas State Parks

The Coast Guard is investigating pollution reports in the wake of Hurricane Ike, including reports of 21 missing or damaged oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. (1)

Texas Parks and Wildlife has issued a news update on the damage to the Texas state park system, with notes on the rescue of an elderly couple and two zoo animals performed by the Game Wardens:

  • 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.

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.

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.
Posted in honor of the coast guard, park employees, emergency rescue teams and first responders.



(1) Something to consider when someone shouts "Drill, baby, drill."

Photo: From the Twilight Earth blog

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was a good article. Thanks for the acknowledgment on the photo. I'm going to take a look around.