Saturday, September 20, 2008

After Ike, click here for pics

I think I'm ready to talk about it now, we seem to be out of the woods as far as the worst goes! Forgive the length, writing is therapy for me and sometimes it can be a lot.

We just got power and water back last night, almost a full week after Ike hit us. I have very much missed coffee and hot showers! I got called back into work Tuesday, we needed to pay vendor bills very badly so as not to be cut off from our contracts. The company's plants on the port of Houston are badly damaged and even as of today, Saturday, we only have one plant fully operational. We can send stuff out by truck but can't take in and we have ships hanging out in the Gulf of Mexico waiting to deliver but can't come into the ports because of damage. We know that the port area was hit very very hard besides Houston and the Galveston area. All the refineries there are struggling to get back up and running.

Don't be fooled, the press is downplayng a lot of fatalies and damage here. It was a lot worse than anyone anticipated, there are a lot of dead unaccounted for in Galveston and Port Bolivar/Crystal Beach as well as the port towns. Reports on Fox news and MSNBC say that a lot of people who did not evacuate were washed out into the gulf. I believe this to be true. There were maybe a third of people who actually got out and since the search and rescues, no real dead have been found. What happened to those who stayed? Where are they?

In the Gulf. A lot of people died, washed away. Everyone in Houston and in the surrounding areas, myself included, didn't think it would be that big of a deal, it wouldn't be that bad. We had been lucky with Rita and with the storm that came through on Aug. 5th. The weather channel kept trying to warn people but we all reacted like they were just being drama queens, making things out to be worse than it would really turn out to be, for ratings. Notice that all the focus right now is on Galveston and Crystal Beach. What is going on that isn't being shown? There are a lot of questions that a lot of us have and the survivors of the dead in the port area as well are going to have even more questions. So far the official count is 47, but when the death certificates get issued for life insurance, it will be in the thousands. I don't believe anyone here is really ready to think about that, to really confront mentally that so many died, it is a devastating thought. Ppl want to think that the rest got out or just hav'nt been found yet and I don't think they ever will be. They were swept away. If you bring it up around here, folks are quick to change the subject, don't want to think about it.

We were lucky at our house, we took no house damage, we only lost power and water. It took a week to get it back but overall, we did just fine. It was good to be called into work, even thought at first I didn't want to go. It was good to get some sort of distraction, of normalcy, of regular pattern back into gear. It's nice to have TV back too....we watched it on and off during the week thanks to a power invertor Brian had bought that ran off the truck or car engine. We needed to know what was happening.

Brian and I are fine, we are making sure that the trees in our yard get taken down because had this storm been worse, we may have had on fall on the house and we're not having it! So the three must come down.

What I think I shall remember most about the storm was been awakened by the wind, the loud WHHOOOOOOOSSH at 4 am and went on for hours. Tried to get video while the storm raged but it was dark, like silhouettes on black, and you could only see the movement of the trees being thrust around. stupide me, I opened our front door to stick my head out and when i saw how strong the whole thing was, i slammed the door back shut to just look out the window. We did have the eye come over us, that was bizarre and cool, to go from furious wind and rain to much calmer, stiller wind. That lasted maybe 2-3 hours then went back into hard rain and wind but not as bad as the first round.

It was a relief to find out that after all the noise and banging around we heard all night, that we didn't have much damage, we thought maybe it hadn't been that bad. Then we got the TV working and watched the reports and saw the pictures. Galveston destroyed, Bolivar peninsula destroyed. We were in shock. The next day we saw pictures of DT Houston with many of the taller buildings having the windows blown out. It was hard to look at, I won't lie. I was depressed for a couple of days. We weren't sure what was going on, how long this would last or anything. Reports were spotty, cell phone service was spotty.

We pretty much lived in our garage the whole week, cooking on our camp stove (I recommend getting one) and getting what news we could from TV and radio. we had the luxury of camp equipment to get us by. At least Captain Fantastic didn't get very down or stressed out....don't get me wrong, he was stressed, everyone was. But he took care of us.

What kept cracking us up and frustrating us was that on TV, they would keep referring to the web to find more, "go to this site to find out more" or to do this or that and we were like, HELLO!!! WE HAVE NO POWER!!!!! how is anybody supposed to go to a website??

I dread to think how much worse it could have been had this been a cat 3 or cat 4....Houston got hit hard enough but a stronger storm would have been crippling.

At least the weather afterwards was pleasant, it wasn't terribly hot and it was nice and cool at night so sleep was good and restful. Now we have power back.

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