14 September 2008

Hurricane Ike: The Aftermath

Well, we came through pretty much unscathed. Some slight trivial amount of water on the floor (the backdoor was apparently unable to totally hold back 8 hours of rain driven by 80 mph winds), but nothing else.

Some neighbors had some wall planking torn away, exposing the attic and the interior ceiling of the kitchen, but a bunch of us jumped in to staple up tarps and boards to seal it as best could be managed. Some fences down, and across the road the ext neighborhood over had some houses lose their shingling.

Lots of trees toppled. Lots of signage and awnings are laying in parking lots or in streets or in yards. Lots of fences shattered and splintered. Streets choked with debris and leaves, but truly horrific damage locally (we're 30 miles due west of downtown, and caught a less ugly portion of the storm). Schools are closed on Monday at least, and advisements coming for possible extended closures.

In Houston, 2 million people are without power. We lost ours for about 20 hours -- as the storm came on, then through the night and into the day after -- but now have lights and working refrigerators and blessed sweet heavenly air conditioning.

Roads are dangerous due to glass and nails everywhere, so sightseeing is dangerous, gasoline is in short supply, power lines are down all over, cars are stalled out, water remains over key sections of highways (especially through downtown and to the E and S), phone and cell service is erratic. Stores report problems with supplies, refrigerating, and lighting. Ice is a commodity some people will physically fight over (I had to help calm down two gents about to get physical over the last 5 pound bag of ice at Target).

Galveston looks to be a total mess, but since I still have no satellite service for the TV (winds apparently knocked the dish out of whack), I'm not seeing the live local coverage that might give a full picture.

What's wild is to look on the internet and see that for most of the country, life goes on as normal. What seems like an "end of the world" event for us in the Houston area is largely a regional concern. Some of us were talking over beers in the driveway yesterday, worried that Sean Penn and his rescue boat were having trouble getting to town, as nobody has yet seen the actor attempting to again render aid in his outboard-powered U-boat.

But hope springs eternal.


Wormie said...

It is really odd when you're in the midst of a giant disaster to realize that the rest of the world is going on as normal.

Those of us in "normal" land have seen the coverage of what happened in Texas, and we're all horrified.

I hope that aid is there quickly.

Pooks said...

The horror, Sean Penn in a boat, etc. didn't happen immediately. It was after the gov't didn't dropped the ball that there was a groundswell of reaction from around the world.

I'm praying that doesn't happen again, so you won't have to have Geraldo, Sean Penn and Harry Connick, Jr. in your neighborhood.

And I'm glad you made it through okay. My cousin is still w/o power in Baton Rouge after Gustav, and the nation thinks there aren't any real probs there, either.

Hang tough.

Pooks said...

After the gov't dropped the ball, didn't take care of the people, you know what I mean.

aggiebrett said...

I dunno that Sean Pen counts as a groundswell, but I did laugh as Geraldo was doing a live report from the Galveston Seawall and Mother Nature decided to kneecap him:



Pooks said...

Um, Sean Penn was part of a groundswell. He wouldn't have shown up (nor would the others) if the gov't hadn't neglected their duty for so long.

Yeah, the Geraldo thing is a joke in more ways than I can number.

Unknown said...

Yeah it's tricky, a week after the storm and my report of no personal damage, people can't understand why I'm still so distracted from getting my job done. It seems the nation has largely forgotten us, mainly because we were prepared and along with Fema we are managing. But the 24 hour news coverage, and the personal difficulties around us, are a huge distraction. Not to mention the kids being home from school, offices being closed, etc.

Eddie M said...

Ike knocked my power out on Sunday and I'm in Ohio. I can only imagine what it was like before you guys "slowed it down" for us.

I'd love to comment on the all the great things I've discovered(neighbors, self-reliance, silence)the last five days, buy I'm too busy now with the computer, tv and ice cold drinks, since power has been restored.

Glad you made it through Ike relatively unscathed, and hope Houston recovers as soon as possible.