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The death toll from Hurricane Alicia rose to 18...

By BRUCE NICHOLS

HOUSTON -- The death toll from Hurricane Alicia rose to 18 Sunday and Coast Guard planes and helicopters searched the Gulf of Mexico for another body.

The body of a man who died following a fire in his home was discovered during cleanup operations and officials said two more bodies were classified as storm victims.

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The Harris County Medical Examiner ruled the deaths of two men found Saturday floating in a flooded bayou near the Houston Ship Channel were storm-related. A spokesman at themedical examiner's office identified the victims as Kenneth Packer, 29, and Ozell Jones, 25, of Youngstown, Ohio.

The Houston Fire Department had originally said another body was in a car at an underpass that had been flooded. But Sunday a spokesman said the car was drained and no body was found.

The body of Tommy Lee Campbell, 62, of Rosharon, Texas, was found Saturday by rescue workers following a fire in his home. Officials said Campbell apparently died of smoke inhalation.

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The fire was caused by a candle burning in a plastic cup. There had been no electricity at Campbell's apartment since the storm.

Coast Guard officials in Galveston said they were busy Sunday rebuilding buoys along the Houston Ship Channel, which has been closed because most of the directional lights were blown away during Thursday's hurricane.

The damage estimate -- originally set at $1 billion -- continued to rise as officials tallied how badly the storm had wounded Texas' most heavily populated region.

The bodies of two sailors were discovered late Saturday near the wreckage of a shrimp boat that sank during the storm in Clear Lake on Galveston Bay. An engineer was still missing.

But an all-night search failed to locate the body, and the Coast Guard suspended its all-out search early Sunday.

'The active search has been suspended, but the Coast Guard is conducting routine searches and patrols of the area' using jets and helicopters, said duty officer John Dec.

State officials, working from computer projections, estimated damage along the Gulf coast at between $700 million and $1.6 billion.

But following a helicopter survey of the hurricane-ravaged areas Saturday, Sen. John Tower, R-Texas, said the estimate appeared low.

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'I think the original damage estimate of $700 million may even be a little low,' Tower said. 'I think this is worse than Carla or Celia, although the winds were higher in Celia.'

Hurricane Carla hit the coast in 1961, killing 46 people and doing $408 million in damage. Cost of the Celia in 1970 was placed at $453 million.

He said Alicia 'might well be' the costliest hurricane to strike the Texas coast in the 22 years he has been in office.

Efforts to restore utility services continued, but Southwestern Bell had a shortage of workers due to the strike by the Communications Workers of America.

Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. spokesman Ken Brasel said restoration of phone service would come slowly because 'you won't see convoys of telephone trucks' due to the work stoppage.

On Galveston Island, which took the brunt of the storm, the electrical grid was still down with destruction of the main substation. Houston Lighting and Power spokesman John Salinas said other substations in the Houston metropolitan area were operating, but neighborhood outages persisted.

He said the company would send meter readers and administrative workers door-to-door to locate people still without power.

Federal relief was slowed by the lack of office space in Houston, and Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Bill McAda in Denton, Texas, said it might be as late as Tuesday before his agency established an office.

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'There's just not much we can do until we get our operation set up,' McAda said.

The emergency relief effort by the Red Cross was estimated to cost at least $5 million, said Red Cross spokesman Bill Barron.

A storm-related fire added two more victims to the death count. A 19-year-old man and his 10-year-old sister apparently died of smoke inhalation after candles ignited a fire in their home. Investigators said the hurricane had cut off the family's electricity.

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