Officials have found themselves overwhelmed by the numbers of people who wanted to come see their homes, and they're having to put a stop to the 'look and leave' policy.

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At noon Tuesday, Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas announced Galveston residents would be allowed onto the island in order to come survey their property, but they wouldn't be allowed to stay on the island. The 'look and leave' policy is supposed to be in effect from 6am to 6pm. At 6pm, the city's curfew goes into effect.

Massive numbers of residents tried to get onto the island, but the traffic backup became too much for officials to deal with. Galveston residents and business owners were asked to photo identification at highway check points under the policy. The overwhelming numbers of people trying to gain access caused a back up on I-45 for miles.

At 6pm, the announcement came that Mayor Thomas has suspended the 'look and leave' program for Galveston Island, indefinitely, effective immediately. At 6pm, all vehicles still in the line were turned around and refused access to the island.

The city was under a mandatory evacuation order before Ike, which knocked out all medical facilities, water, sewer, electricity and gas services.

Stay with Eyewitness News for the latest on this developing story.

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