Sunday, October 5, 2008

As economic and political news have dominated headlines, the Hurricane Ike recovery effort has received little coverage. This account of what dead or missing victims told surviving loved ones is grim reading.
Dolores Brookshire, a 72-year-old part-time cashier, called her niece, Joann Mier, at 5 a.m. on the day the outer bands of the storm arrived. She had no car and lived in a house in Port Bolivar with her son, Charles Allen Garrett, 42, who used a wheelchair.

Ms. Brookshire told her niece that the street was already filling with water and that a neighbor who had promised them a ride to Dallas had never shown up.

“She says, ‘I’m calling you to tell you that I love you and to tell you bye,’ ” Ms. Mier recalled, “and I said, ‘Why? Where are you going?’ and she says ‘Nowhere. Me and Allen are going to drown.’ ”

Then Ms. Brookshire told her niece she was going to try to push her son through the rising water to a brick grocery store where she worked. They have not been seen since.

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