Ike-battered Galveston allows residents to return

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) _ The lines of vehicles were long as thousands of Galveston residents returned to the Hurricane Ike-battered island today.

But they're dealing with no drinking water, reliable electricity, medical care or sewer service. At least 27 deaths in Texas are blamed on Ike, which made landfall September 13th at Galveston.

Authorities have extended the disaster declaration for 90 days. City Manager Steve LeBlanc says Galveston has opened a shelter for about 100 newly homeless residents. Authorities hope to set up more shelters on the mainland for residents whose homes are uninhabitable.

Galveston and the feds are considering a plan to let residents live in FEMA trailers in their driveways or near their houses during repairs. But LeBlanc says he'd want all trailers removed before the 2009 hurricane season -- which runs June through November.