"It's been lost in the shuffle with the turmoil of the financial markets, but Hurricane Ike has been a disaster of epic proportions in western Louisiana and Texas. This powerful Category 2 hurricane wracked...45,000 homes [and left]hundreds of thousands more Americans in the Midwest without power for days in a 200-mile-wide swath from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes.
Then there was Ike's environmental impact. According to an analysis of federal data by The Associated Press, at least a half million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the marshes, bayous and bays of Louisiana and Texas.
It took days for the rest of the nation to learn that a million Houston residents had no running water for three days. Or that no local shelters had been opened during the storm. Or that only two of the region's 14 hospitals reopened within the first two weeks after the storm.
We're not talking about a Third World city seeing conditions like this. This is Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. And conditions in Galveston, which took a direct hit from Ike, were even worse. "