May 22, 2009 By Ann Patton
The Galveston County (Texas) Daily News has written countless stories about the challenges and heroes of Hurricane Ike. But there's one story journalists for the paper have refused to write: their own.
During Ike, The News staff lost almost everything but its grit. Even when the storm was at its worst, the paper didn't miss an edition.
"It's all a blur," Building Superintendent Brett Baker said about operations throughout Ike and its aftermath on Galveston Island.
When the eye passed over the newspaper building at 2 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2008, workers who were staying there overnight rushed outside and boarded up cracked windows in preparation for the second half of the storm. The worst was yet to come. It brought 110-mph winds and a 12-foot storm surge. The building's roof covering, power, generator, satellite phones and nearly all technology were lost. But the staff never stopped.
"We were operating, at one point, pretty much just on my cell phone," recalled Editor Heber Taylor. "We had to improvise and overcome."
Rain came in around the windows. The waterproof covering blew off the roof. The surge came quickly, flooded the carpet and then subsided just as quickly. The generator failed when natural gas service was cut off. Before the storm was over, some Daily News staffers lost everything.
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