GULFPORT -- When Hurricane Ike slammed into Galveston in September, the powerful Category 2 storm destroyed homes and businesses, but it could not take out the spirit of the people who lived there.
In the three months since the storm hit, the city's tourism industry has come far in its recovery, and city officials believe everyone else will catch up.
"Initially, I think people were shocked at how Mother Nature trampled on our island," said Alicia Cahill, spokeswoman for the city. "But we have a fairly resilient community and there's the idea that we've been through storms before, and we will survive."
There are signs of progress. The city now has just one contractor hauling out debris, and the City Council last week appointed a Longterm Recovery Committee to study issues such as affordable housing, tourism and infrastructure.
Before Ike, Galveston had about 58,000 people, and Cahill said about 65 percent of them have returned. Many have found other places to live while they rebuild , but Cahill said the city already has issued more than 10,000 permits for people to rebuild or repair their homes.
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