County rescinds mandatory evacuation and releases recovery update
Friday morning, Orange County Judge Carl Thibodeaux and all city mayors held a press conference at the Bridge City High School to update citizens on the state of recovery from Hurricane Ike.
“We are ahead in our recovery efforts, and we are moving very quickly…a lot better than Rita,” said Thibodeaux. “because we learned from Rita, and we are going to learn from this one.”
Thibodeaux praised all the hard work the mayors and first responders have done.
“We are, right now, ahead of any single county in the state of Texas that has issues,” he said.
The mandatory evacuation in Orange and Jefferson Counties is rescinded as of 6 a.m Saturday morning.
All Orange County cities and communities were reported to have water except for Rose City. Only Orange, West Orange and Rose City do not have sewer.
Some audience members from Bridge City stated they did not have water and were advised If you do not have water and sewer you need to let them know at city hall because it may have been cut off due to a leak.
Mauriceville has fully restored power with Pine Forest at 99 percent of its citizens having electricity. Vidor stands at 85 percent, while the Bridge City/Orangefield area restoration is at 70 percent. Pinehurst and Orange are tied at 55 while in West Orange and Rose City only 40 percent of the residents have power.
To date 32,544 cases of water, 44,200 bags of ice, 14,504 cases of 5 (Meals Ready to Eat) have been distributed to 19,829 vehicles, benefitting 50,840 citizens.
Thibodeaux announced that housing was the greatest need at this time and they are doing everything possible to facilitate transitional housing.
Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccaforte said he wants to give top priority to families with school children. He feels that is the main objective needed for the town to bounce back.
“We need to get our school children back in here so they can get back in school so we can start to be normal,” he said. “That is the first thing we want to try to do.”
Thibodeaux urged residents to be patient, assuring them they were doing everything they possibly could to get the services needed as quickly as possible as the area continues down the road to recovery.