Number of Ike Victims Still Uncertain

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Those who survived Hurricane Ike as it roared ashore along the Texas Gulf Coast will likely not soon forget the storm. Ike's fury claimed 26 deaths in Texas alone. 

Exactly how many people are missing is anybody's guess. Authorities suspect there are more victims still out there and some may have washed out to sea. 

Click play to watch an Operation Blessing report on how Ike's victims in Haiti are being helped, followed by more video of some of the hurricane victims.

But the conditions many survivors are now facing could not be worse. More than 875,000 people are still without power throughout the state.

Officials are also warning that most of Galveston will remain dangerous when it reopens Wednesday. They are warning parents that their children could be exposed to infections from storm debris and other hazards.

This is where Operation Blessing International has stepped in to help homeowners by cleaning up the rubble from the storm. OB teams are helping residents gut dwellings of flood-damaged walls, ceilings, and flooring to prevent the spread of mold and the risk to human health that it brings.

OB has been bringing help to the victims with shelter, food, water, and ice since Ike made landfall more than a week ago. In some cities and towns, relief teams are going door-to-door to ask residents what they need help with.

OB's Jody Herrington says more volunteers are still needed to clean up the damage from Hurricane Ike.  If you would like to volunteer, contact the Operation Blessing International volunteer coordinator at volunteer@ob.org.

Helping in Haiti

Other areas hard hit by Ike are just now seeing relief. Operation Blessing is also bringing in water and medicine to the devastated island of Haiti.

The water purification plant they're setting up will provide more than 12,000 gallons of clean water daily.

"The lack of drinking water is creating a horrible situation in Haiti," said Bill Horan, OBI president. "The municipal water systems are contaminated, and even though people know it, they are so thirsty that they are drinking it anyway. A wave of water-borne disease is about to sweep a population already on its knees."

"We have seen this sad chain of events in other flood-stricken countries and found that providing massive amounts of clean drinking water and specific medicines for those already sick, is the most effective way to help," he said.

The unit, known as the Living Water Treatment System, will produce 12,000 gallons of filtered water per day, which can serve an entire village for up to five years with no replacement filter costs.

The not-for-profit organization is also importing a medical clinic that will be able to treat 10,000 people over the next few months.

Along with partner charity Humedica, the medical team has been helping victims primarily in the flood-trapped community of L'Estere. The clinic will receive medications for a variety of disaster-related ailments along with other emergency supplies.

OB is also distributing food distribution near L'Estere. The charity has purchased enough food locally to serve 5,000 people who have lost their homes and are presently staying in shelters.

To donate to this effort or read updates on all of OBI's programs, please log on to www.ob.org http:/www.ob.org and/or www.myowneyes.org http:/www.myowneyes.org.

Sources: The Associated Press, Operation Blessing International

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