Galveston residents recovering from Ike glad Debby isn't coming

Many homes on Galveston Island still showing scars from Hurricane Ike

GALVESTON - The path of Tropical storm Debby has many residents in Galveston feeling like they dodged a bullet, especially since some are still feeling the impact of Hurricane Ike.

The home on Galveston Island that Gabriel Hall grew up still bears the scars of the last major storm to hit. According to Hall, the home was practically under water four years ago and is still in no shape to go through another major storm.

"We're still waiting. They keep giving us a date and then they switch contractors, so every time they do the contractors we have to wait three or four more months and it's been over a year now," said Hall.

Many other homeowners on Galveston may be in similar situations or also waiting for repairs. The federal government is dispensing $267 million to enhance infrastructure and help low- to moderate-income families whose homes were damaged. Nearly 200 homes have already been built. More than 600 homeowners have either filed the necessary paperwork or are in the process of having their homes rebuilt.

"We've got a lot of homes to go and we've got to try and hit those marks by probably the early part of next year," Galveston City Manager Michael Kovacs said.

According to the city, Galveston initially had trouble getting the housing assistance program off the ground.

Some homeowners in the disaster recovery program have been hit with liens for Hurricane Ike repairs that were never paid for. According to the city, the kinks involving the contractors have been ironed out, which should speed up the process.

"I'd like to see them come next week and start working on the house, truly," said Hall.

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