Galveston Rebuilds, Remembers Ike One Year Later

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A Galveston, Texas church has dedicated their new building one year after Hurricane Ike struck and demolished the congregation's old facility.

The pews at Seabrook United Methodist Church overflowed on Sunday morning as the congregation remembered the storm's devastation.

One year ago, floodwaters four-feet deep washed through the church's old building.  Today, the church has completed the construction of a new $3 million facility at a new location.

"This is greater than anybody's wildest dreams," Pastor Tony McCollum said. "And so we're all just kind of beaming." 

Church member Kathy Zerkus said the new facility is beautiful.

"It gives me goose bumps just thinking of how beautiful this new church is," she said.

Ministers of various faiths also held a sunrise service in Galveston at a hotel on the city's famous seawall on Sunday.
The Rev. David Green of First Presbyterian Church said, "A new day has dawned on our community."
Hurricane Ike damaged 75 percent of the working-class city's houses and Galveston suffered more than $3.2 billion in damage when the storm hit a year ago.  

The storm was called the costliest natural disaster in Texas history, totaling more than $29 billion in damage across the state.

Ike was also blamed for at least 72 deaths in the U.S., including 37 in Texas.

However, Galveston officials said 75 percent of businesses are open and tourists have returned to the recovering city.

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