Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike - An Inside Look

Ok, I'm back. Again. And what better time to come back from my self-imposed blogging hiatus than during a hurricane. So here I am.

To say a lot has been going on the past few weeks is a definite understatement. Politics, weather, life, death, we've been through it all lately. I'm not even going to try and catch up on everything that's occurred since that last post, but I will try and provide a glimpse into what's happening here in the Houston area right now, and it can be summed up in one word.


That's right, Ike has come calling, and like an unwanted party crasher, he's acting like a true fool. Right now, Galveston is in his sights, but we expect to feel the full brunt of the storm soon. Luckily for us, we're not in the surge zone, so water is not an issue. But we do expect some serious wind and rain.

By the way, where's President Bush? Haven't seen him at all since this whole situation developed. I mean, he was so involved "monitoring" Hurricane Gustav a couple of weeks ago that he couldn't even attend his own parties convention. What's different about this situation, or was that all about *gasp* politics?
Oh, wait a minute,turns out he's fundraising.

But I digress. Since yesterday when Ike's path became clear, the whole area has been preparing. A lot of people in the surge zone evacuated, but apparently nearly half of the people in Galveston decided to stay put. This despite the fact that local officials told them in no uncertain terms that no help would be coming once the storm got close. I pray they don't live to regret that decision, but looking at it right now, I'm pretty sure they will. The storm hasn't even hit yet and a good portion of the island is already flooded.

We decided to stay put too, for several reasons. One, we're not in surge zone. Second, we're pretty far inland, and our house is only 8 years old and seems to be pretty well built. And third, we evacuated when Hurricane Rita threatened the area in 2005, and that was an experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Still, I hope we don't end up regretting our decision to stay either.

Like I said, we've been preparing. The gas tanks are full, all potential projectiles are cleared from the yard, we've laid in a supply of food and water, the generator is tuned up with plenty of fuel on hand, and eventually, I'll shut down all of the electronics in the house, including computers. One thing we did not do was board up the windows, but we've scouted out the strongest point in our house to shelter at during the worst of the storm.

So now we wait.

The craziest thing so far has not been the amount of effort it taken to prepare. Nor the anxiety of waiting to see if it's coming directly towards us or not. No, the really crazy thing that has been taking up most of my time is fielding all of the calls from family, friends, and current and former business acquaintances from around the country. And while I really appreciate the concern, we are kind of busy down here y'all. I promise we will call as soon as we can after this thing is over. In the meantime, no news is good news.

We are expecting Ike to show up sometime in the early morning hours, and have been told to expect the power to go out soon thereafter. I'm not sure how long it's supposed to be out, but some of the folks who remember Hurricane Alicia back in 1983 said it took nearly two weeks to restore the power to all areas. Man, I hope that is not the case this time around. There's only so much power that my little generator can provide, and that doesn't include air conditioning. And y'all know we are pretty much dependent on the AC down here, especially during this time of year. In fact, I don't think Houston would be the 4th biggest city in the country without it. Suffice it to say, I'm not looking forward to that.

What has been cool is my ten year old's response to this event. Talk about a learning and growing experience. She has been as helpful as she can be, and has been asking a ton of great questions. She's also taken it upon herself to monitor the news for us, providing updates whenever she feels the situation has changed, or there is something newsworthy to report. Even though I can tell she's nervous about the whole 'sheltering in place' ordeal, in her own words she's "nervous but still excited to see what's going to happen." Ahh, youth.

Anyway, I hope that gives you a little peek into what's happening on this end. The winds are picking up right now, but still no rain. I'll try to jump back on soon to update. In the meantime if you're so inclined, send up a little prayer for the safety and protection of life and property for your friends down here in Texas.

We'll definitely need it.


Regina said...

Hey there! You sure picked a fine time to pop back on to the scene.....
I certainly pray for you, Boo and the posse.
I don't know if I would have opted to stay or go, this is some scary stuff. I've had a few calls from NY asking if we were in the line of fire and if we were ok. We had considered moving to Houston but choose the Northern part of TX instead, I'm glad we did.

I pray that God protect and shield you guys in the upcoming days, and that HE grants you peace.
Peace & Love

DP said...

Hey Regina! It's been a rough few weeks but I'm trying to get back to normal. Blogging is a part of that. I appreciate you checking in on me the way you've done, and for the thoughts and prayers. Believe me, it helped.

Now about your move to N. Texas... I'm from that part of the state originally but actually like it better on this end, hurricanes and all. In the 8 years we've been here, this is the first such storm to actually hit the city. I hope it's the last too!

One thing for sure, I won't be staying for the next one.