Ike gave us his worst, but we survived; a little tattered and torn, but alive nonetheless. As bad as this has been for us out here on the southwest edge of the Houston metro area, it is much worse inside the city and especially down on the coast in Galveston.
Our power is already back on for example, while it could be weeks before the rest of the city can say the same. Many of the grocery and hardware stores and gas stations are open as well. The lines to get into anywhere are ridiculously long, and from what I can tell, most of the staple supplies are just not available in any real quantities yet. But you can load up on junk food, and I guess that's better than nothing. Not much better, but a little.
So what happened during the night? Well, as you read in my previous post, we hunkered down in the safe room and were waiting for the main body of the storm to hit. The funny thing is that by the time that occurred, we were all exhausted and fell sound asleep on the floor. We didn't wake up until the worst had passed! I've always told my daughter that she could sleep through a hurricane and now I have the proof. Although I guess she can say the same about me. We were back up by 5:30 AM and inspected the house and discovered a couple of leaks. There wasn't much we could do about it at that time, except catch the water in pots.
We sustained some damage to our roof that was easily patched up, but not before some water got into the house. Our trees took a beating too, especially the avocado tree we've been waiting 6 years to produce fruit. Next summer was supposed to be the time, but after being uprooted and replanted, I'm not sure if it's natural schedule will be delayed. Our banana trees weren't exactly built to withstand winds that high either.
In the aftermath, I set up our generator and plugged in the freezer. We took in some stray food from our neighbors, and charged up cell phones for others. Speaking of cell phones, as usual, the only thing that works is text messaging, which is better than nothing. So we shot texts off to friends and family around the country to let them know we were safe, and then began the process of cleaning up.
Around our neighborhood roofs, fences, and uprooted trees seem to be the order of the day. Thankfully no injuries or deaths out here that I've heard about. Late last night the power came back on, and things are taking on some semblance of normalcy for us out here.
In other words we were blessed beyond belief.
The same can't be said for the rest of the region. This was a really big storm, and most of the people in the area not in mandatory evacuation zones stayed put. If the current death toll (21) holds, it'll be nothing short of a miracle. The Houston Chronicle has been doing a great job reporting on this storm and it's aftermath so I'd suggest visiting them if you want a lot more detail than I can provide in this post. But the amount of property damage appears staggering and it's going to take the region a while to recover from this one. Since we were spared the worst, I'll be heading into town tomorrow to do what I can to help out.
Most likely volunteering with one of those community organizations that have been so disparaged as of late.