Texas Town Struggles in Ike's Aftermath

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Texas - President Bush is in his home state to survey the damage left by Hurricane Ike.

He is urging displaced people to listen to officials before returning home.

More than 2 million people are without power in Texas alone. And tens of thousands of residents are lacking the basics of food, water and, in some cases, shelter.

Operation Blessing is in Texas helping with recovery efforts after Ike.  Click the play button for comments from OB's Jody Herrington.

Meanwhile, organizations are scrambling to keep up with the demand. But officials say a health care crisis could occur if the situation doesn't change soon.

While some areas are starting to get assistance, others are completely cut off. One of those places is Jefferson County, Texas.

One for the Record Books

This is not your usual cattle call.

Chuck Kiker moved some of his farm animals to higher ground before Ike made landfall. But he couldn't get to them all. Now he's rounding up the ones he missed that survived the storm.

A lifelong resident of the area, Chuck says Ike is one that'll go down in the record books.

"I told my son in the last four years, I've seen the three worst storms I've seen in my life and then this one. This one was worse than Rita," Kiker said.

Just down the road, the Wiggins family farm took a hit as well.

Andy Wiggins said, "We're overwhelmed. It's just like where do you go. We're not sure.We don't have a plan."

Most of their heavy machinery still works, but as for their cattle - about 80-100 cows are missing. The few they have found are either beached on makeshift islands or submerged under feet of water.

"There are cows, but they're up to their chest. And, the problem is they've probably been standing in water since Saturday and today's Monday," Andy said.

She said that their prospects of survival are dim. But in spite of the pending loss, the family says they'll pull together.

Robert Wiggins said, "We're doing good. Just headaches you got to deal with. You just got to take care of business now. I'm just glad no one got hurt."

All throughout Jefferson County, water from the Gulf has yet to recede, leaving crawfish, snakes and even a few alligators in places they normally would not be.

Unlike some of their neighbors, the Naba family returned to find their home dry on the inside, even though water completely surrounded the house on the outside.

While many victims continue to count their losses, some, in a few cases, have been fortunate enough to retrieve that which they lost.

But all the survivors CBN News spoke with acknowledge things could've been much worse.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News

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