Galveston: City isn't ready for residents' return

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) -- Officials in Galveston say the barrier island just "isn't ready" for residents to return even briefly to the city thrashed by Hurricane Ike.

City Manager Steve LeBlanc says Thursday that residents who fled Ike should expect to stay away for at least another week so repair crews can focus on making the island livable again.

Services such as water, sewer, and power are recovering but still not fully functional. LeBlanc says letting Galveston's nearly 60,000 residents back onto the island would slow the recovery effort.

Galveston's only hospital is getting some power but not enough to care for the whole island.

Authorities let residents and business owners back onto the island briefly Tuesday but quickly reversed course after traffic jams backed up for miles.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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