Grim search in Chambers County
SMITH POINT, TX (KTRK) -- The grim search for bodies continues in Chambers County. Teams of cadaver dogs spent another day looking for possible victims of Hurricane Ike.
It's hot, nasty and tough work for those lawmen and the game warden doing a job no one would want to do. Every time we show you it's hard to put words into what we're seeing out here. One of the main images of Hurricane Katrina was the FEMA trailers for folks who lost their homes. Now residents in Smith Point are wondering where they are going to live.
Your heart goes out to Joanne Brenner. She spent 40 years as a school counselor and in retirement wanted to spend her time enjoying Trinity Bay.
"It was perfect," she told us while crying.
Ike has now washed her dreams away.
"Dead cows in the yard, there are alligators coming up in the yard," she told us. "It's just unbelievable."
She applied for help from FEMA.
"I told them, I lost everything, I have no place to live," she said.
And they said she was not eligible for support.
"I was devastated," Brenner said. "And I mean what does it take?"
Down the road, the grim search for victims begins. That effort is lead by a 3-year-old lab named Jackson.
"You feel bad sometimes for the families but as we say, if it was one of my family [members], you'd want the loved one to be found," said Port Arthur Police Detective Mark Holmes. "And hopefully if someone is missing we can find them and give them back to the family to have a decent goodbye."
It's tough going for those folks searching for victims. Some of the debris piles are 10 feet high. It's nasty and hot. You have to navigate through mosquitoes and wood.
My photographer Stephen Davis got a nail up through his rubber boot into his foot. That is one of the many things the crews have to work through as the dog, Jackson, and all of the folks who are working here tried to find what they hoped they don't find. But there are many people still missing.
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