September 28, 2008

400 Still Missing From Hurricane Ike

Four hundred people are still listed as missing in the wake of Hurricane Ike, with more than 200 of them from Galveston Island, Texas, officials say.

Sixty of the missing lived on the hard-hit Bolivar Peninsula, a Gulf of Mexico beachfront community. One of them, 58-year-old Gail Ettenger, was found dead late last week miles away in a remote, mosquito-ridden marsh, The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday.

Since Hurricane Ike hit Sept. 12, more than 140 Texas who had been missing have been reunited with friends and relatives through blogs, media Web sites, the Red Cross and occasionally through dramatic rescues, authorities said. But officials say there is still much more work to do to track down the hundreds still unaccounted for.

"We don't know if they got washed out to sea, or buried in the sand or in debris piles," Capt. Rod Ousley of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Service told the Chronicle. "We just keep looking until they come up Â… we're just going to keep trying."