Friday, September 26, 2008

The Aftermath of Ike

Well, we survived Ike and so did our house! Because of all of the problems we've had with our house, I was so worried about what we'd come home to.

After watching coverage of Ike, seeing pictures of the rest of the city and seeing lots of destruction while driving around town, I know that we were very fortunate.

Let me catch you up on how things went down for us. :)

D and I were planning to shelter in place. We had already secured our house with lots of duct tape and bought our food and water. Thursday evening I made my hubster his birthday meal (chile con carne and refried beans) and birthday dessert (lemon sandwich cookies). Thursday night we had heard that the hurricane had been downgraded to a Category 1. We felt some relief, but still decided we'd wake up early and make sure there were no changes overnight. We woke up Friday morning at about 5:50, turned on the news and learned that Ike had gone back to a Category 2. We quickly packed up the important stuff (pictures, computers, hard drives, important docs etc.), some clothes, and the "kids" things. We secured some things in the garden, secured the front gate and moved our t.v. out of the way. We were on the road by 6:45. I cried a lot, but I knew we had to go. We didn't feel safe with all of the windows in our house and it doesn't have a central part, where you can be away from windows during a potential tornado. I cried on the way up to the farmhouse, knowing I had family back in Houston that decided to stay behind and not knowing how much of Galveston and Houston would be destroyed by Ike.

At the farmhouse, we watched continuing coverage of Ike from a Houston station (thank you satellite). We expected to get the same system in the town by Saturday evening and boy did we! I can't imagine what the winds were like in Houston as a Category 2 because the winds we were feeling up there were up to 50 mph and it was crazy! We lost power up there at about 6 p.m. on Saturday. When you lose power in the country, you also lose water because the water well is powered by electricity. Not fun! Fortunately, the in-laws have a generator so the main house had a few lights, 1 t.v. and most importantly the fridge! On Sunday, we were able to take a bath at D's uncle's house, so that was nice. Other than constantly worrying about our house and family, we were doing good in Atlanta (TX). We heard from my dad that our house didn't appear to suffer any major damage, so that was great to hear!

On Monday, we decided to head back to Houston to check on our house. There were concerns of little to no gas throughout the city, so we filled up a 5 gallon gas canister before we left the town. By the time we got to Nacogdoches we could see some of the damage Ike had done and noticed that all of the gas stations had long lines of cars. We had to fill up D's car and we were lucky enough to be the first in line after a gas station had re-opened so we patiently waited.

As we drove into Houston, we could see a lot of restaurants and companies had no electricity and a lot of the gas stations had signs that read "No Gas".
We drove down our street and there were limbs and branches on curbs. It appeared that half of our street had evacuated, while the other half had decided to shelter in place. Two trees in our front yard were leaning at an angle and there were some branches in our driveway from a neighbors tree. Our street floods easily, so we were expecting to see some high water marks, but there was none. The only thing we noticed right away was the backyard.

No, we didn't leave the chairs and herbs out there. :)

We lost some of our beneficial wild flowers and basil. :(
Branches from neighbors tree
Surprisingly, the okra held up pretty well!
This was a leak we had from Tropical Storm Edouard and it just got worse with Ike!

After accessing the entire house, we noticed a few leaks around the windows. We did a lot of cleaning of the yard, the fridge, and the overall house-because well there wasn't much else to do. We lost everything in our fridge, which was what we expected, but it was still sad to have to throw away the top of our cake. :( We listened to a lot of radio shows and watched some black & white t.v. (damn, it takes a long time to try to find a channel!). We spent a lot of evenings at my parent's house because they had a generator and were able to cook because they had food in the fridge! They were lifesavers!

From talking with our neighbors, we learned that the neighborhood had lost power on Friday evening. The winds were obviously strong from what we saw around our neighborhood. Some neighbors had more damage than others. It was sad to see a lot of old, beautiful trees uprooted and some had lost some limbs.
Our house was without power for less than a week and we were without power for only 3 nights! The weather was not too bad during this time because we had a cool front. We were not expecting to get power for awhile, but Thursday afternoon at about 3 p.m. we heard a great sound. Sprinklers! :) We had power! We didn't turn on the A/C for awhile, we didn't want to take a chance that we'd blow a fuse/transformer. We weren't expecting to get power until sometime after the following Monday (according to the power company's map), so it was a great surprise! We also kept hearing that people would get power, then lose it so we were worried that we'd lose it, but we didn't. We immediately invited my parents and my brother and his family over to stay with us, but they both declined. We did have them over for dinner the next day!
The next day we stocked our fridge with the basics. I was so happy just walking into Central Market again. Yep, I'm a foodie! ;) No more eating processed foods!
Then, my parents got their power on Sunday evening. Unfortunately, they have a power pole STILL leaning on their house. They have called every day and the power company still has not made their way out there to take care of it. It's ridiculous!

So you can say we were happy to see our house had little damage to our house after Ike.
Not having electricity for a few days made me realize how much time I spend watching television and on-line. I really enjoyed not having access to those two!

And check out my Ike ball! This is all of the duct tape from the windows. We have a small medicine ball now. ;)
Whoa, this was a long post! If you read it all, you get a lemon sandwich cookie! :D


Azull said...

wow, you guys were lucky. I can't even imagine what you all went through. Thanks for the updates throughout. Good to hear not much damage to your house.

Crazy about the utility pole, that's kinda scary.

Your poor cake. :-(

Sara said...

Good to hear everything turned out okay and there was no major damage to your home. Glad you guys are safe!