Texas rescuers finally getting into coastal areas cut off since Ike hit

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - For the first time since Hurricane Ike swamped the Gulf Coast, rescuers are flying into areas cut off by the storm and are evacuating survivors.

The Texas helicopter task force flew 115 rescuers onto the heavily damaged resort barrier island of Bolivar Peninsula. It found a scene of devastation, with whole subdivisions obliterated. The area is home to about 30,000 people in the peak summer beach season.

Task force leader Chuck Jones says the area took a "direct hit" from Ike and that some subdivisions are completely gone.

It's not known if anyone died on the island, and there's no count of how many stayed through the storm.

Relief workers are hoping to make it back from Bolivar to Galveston tonight, but have brought supplies for an overnight stay just in case.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)