Sunday, September 14, 2008

Halfway Through the Season, Sigh

This is the scene that greeted us as we woke up Saturday morning after a restless night. My husband has to have a small fan running (roaring) at night to sleep so it was hard to hear the wind. I woke up a couple of times to see how things were going. It was quite breezy but we did not get that much rain.

There is a small gully that winds behind these houses. In the middle photo you can see the bridge railings. It was the weirdest thing. The water that you see was not due to rain, but to the infamous storm surge all the weather people talk about these days. Even before the outer bands of Ike actually got here, the water in our lake was overflowing and the bayous were swelling.

The water around these homes had all receded by the afternoon. Our house is across the street from these and the water had been creeping up in our yard. We were worrying that we might flood but we were spared when the water started going down.

We still have electricity but the street my parents live on does not and there are other places that do not have it around town. Hopefully the power will be restored soon. Most of the damage in this area came from flooding this time around rather than winds.

My daughter lives in a trailer south of town. We have not been out there to see if she flooded or had wind damage. We are still technically under a curfew but I think today they may loosen that up a bit and we can get over there to check things out before she gets back from New Orleans where she and a friend went to escape the storm (Okay, it
might have been an excuse just to spend the weekend in New Orleans!). But as my neighbor said about one of her grown daughters it might have been better for her to be away than to have to deal with the stress of her being here and worrying!

My family in Houston is all safe and sound but they are (obviously) without power. My sister has not been able to check on her house which is on the backside of Galveston Bay. To get to her house she has to go through Kemah and Seabrook, two small cities that were heavily damaged by the storm surge. Hopefully the water did not reach her house. It does sit on a hill and is on piers so that may have helped. She is hoping to go look today but I kind of doubt she will be able to get through.

I feel so sorry for the folks in Houston. Rita came through three years ago and there are still scars from that storm. I can't imagine the time it will take to get things back together for such a large city as Houston. It's going to be hard because they are accustomed to going and doing at all hours of the day. Things will definitely be slowing down for them now.

And of course I also feel great sympathy for Galveston and the other areas that were hit. It's going to be a tough time for all of them.

Thank God there is not another storm brewing out there at the moment. I think all of us on the Gulf Coast are a bit storm-weary, emotionally, financially and physically.

Ayekah mentioned watching the video stream of one of our local OEP (Office of Emergency Preparedness) briefings. I really do think we have the best group of people working together on this. They learned a lot from Rita and then implemented what they learned. They also learned from Gustav and made changes in transporting people out to shelters who had way to transport themselves. It takes a lot of coordinating to arrange all these things before and after a storm. They all seem to work well together and do an excellent job.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yikes! Ike!

Ike is huge. That is all there is to that.

We are staying home this time even though I have a feeling that is not the wisest choice we could have made. The university closed today at noon and hopefully we will be going back to work on Monday.

We are under a mandatory curfew which begins tomorrow morning at 10. They apparently think that is when the tropical force winds and the rain will start. We're on the bad side of the storm and if it moves any toward the east, things will only get worse.

We've got water and food, and books to read, and oil for our lamps, flashlights and batteries. It's probably going to be a long rough weekend.

My parents live in the same neighborhood as we do. We've got the generator and enough gas for a couple of nights of AC. If (when?) the power goes out, we will head down there to sleep.

All we do now is wait on Ike.

What will y'all be doing for the weekend??

My son and my sister and my aunt are all in Houston. They too will be waiting (along with all those other people who live in Houston who I do not know!). They are all at my aunt's house in Pasadena. As of now, I don't think they have been told to evacuate.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Better Safe Than Sorry

That's the new official motto of the Southwest Louisiana area, declared and so moved by me! Plus, the evacuation was mandatory and I wanted to do my civic duty by being obedient to the law.

When we left for Rita three years ago this month, we were laughing about all the trouble of evacuating for nothing (or so we thought!) and boasting that we'd be back in a day or two. When we left for Gustav, we were fretful and thinking we might be gone several weeks--and we were back in a day or two. Ya just never know.

The sad thing is, when you dodge the bullet, it usually means someone else has to take it. My heart goes out to the people who are now having to deal with the problems brought in by Gustav.

I was able to participate in a few shopping therapy groups and managed to get a few new books from Borders, a bookstore I'd never been in before--AND--I bought a Christmas gift, so I guess I can say I have officially started my Christmas shopping!!

We had a great time visiting with my sister and brother-in-law, but I am glad to be home.