Ike survivors may wait weeks for hot meals, baths

HOUSTON (AP) - More Hurricane Ike relief is on its way to evacuees today as tens of thousands of people wait for food, water and ice, for the electricity to return to their homes or for their first hot meal and shower.

The number of distribution centers is to quadruple to 60 by the end of the day to deliver food, water and ice. Still, for some, the wait for a return to normalcy could be days. For others, it could be weeks.

Many service stations still have no gasoline, and some major highways remain under water. More than 30,000 evacuees still live in nearly 300 public shelters, and roughly 2 million people in Texas alone are without power.

Ike's survivors have already walked for miles and waited for hours at supply distribution centers. They've gotten a million bottles of water, a million meals and 600,000 pounds of ice in just the first 36 hours after the storm passed.

It's not enough, and those dispatching truck after truck to distribution centers around the city know it. One such center north of Houston drew 10,000 people yesterday in search of food and water.

A curfew remains in force for Houston, barring people from being on city streets from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt said the city has issued 108 citations and arrested 33 people who violated curfew. Those include several people found in a stolen car with stolen items inside.

President Bush plans to visit Houston and Galveston on today.

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


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